The owners (Aegon Asset Management) of the former Big W site at Milton Link have applied for planning permission to turn it into a 24 hour superstore. You might think it is too far away from Portobello to have an impact but there can be no doubt with recent closures that the high street is struggling. Concerns are as follows:
Impact on existing small traders
Even a small amount of trade lost by an independent trader could result in a severe negative impact on its business. A new foodstore here would be likely to engage in a price war with Asda, resulting in small local shops being caught in the crossfire and being forced to close. Therefore the potential effect on other local shops in the vicinity, as well as those in Portobello High Street, could threaten the vitality and viability of this local shopping centre.
Lack of need for the superstore
As this site is extremely close to Asda and only a short distance away from many other supermarkets, for example, Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Marks and Spencer, Scotmid, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, there is no need for another food store in the area. We thought this at the time of the original campaign against the superstore and now there are even more in the area!
Traffic and parking problems
The traffic generated by a food store would be greater than that generated by the previous use, especially as the plan is for 24 hour operation. The Milton junction is already over capacity and there are plans in the offing for a new housing development at Newcraighall which would add significantly to the traffic problems in the area.
Customers in a hurry wanting to pick up a small number of items would be tempted to park in Brunstane Road South in order to avoid having to negotiate the Milton junction. This would add to the existing parking problems caused by commuters using the railway station at Brunstane.
Impact on residential amenity
There would be a negative impact on residential amenity from increased in traffic around the site, noise pollution from 24 hour operation and traffic generated by customers and deliveries; light pollution in residential properties and litter.
The application has not yet been advertised in the local press but if it is advertised this Friday, the closing date for objections will be Friday 23 July.
To see further information about the application, such as the traffic an retail impact. please go to www.edinburgh.gov.uk, go to the planning portal and look for application no: 10/01663/FUL.
If you wish to object, please write to John Bury, Head of Planning, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Thanks to Diana Cairns and Caroline Hosking for notification)