08 February 2021

Morrisons named as preferred bidder for Banff supermarket project

Supermarket firm Morrisons has been named as the preferred bidder in a project that could see a new store and other facilities built in Banff.

The development would involve the creation of a supermarket, café, filling station, car wash, and parking on land at Canal Park/Old Market Place.

The area of ground and buildings proposed for the project lies to the west of the Deveron Bridge and currently features a grass football pitch (Canal Park), pavilion, and the Bridge Street Community Centre. The land also includes three redundant tennis courts and a basketball court. The adjacent Princess Royal Park does not form part of the project.

As a large portion of the site is designated as ‘common good land', part of the procedure for the proposed sale requires the council to consult with the community and invite views for consideration before a decision is made.

The consultation will begin this month and run for eight weeks, supported by an online platform featuring a variety of information. Participants will be able to share views on the proposed sale itself, the potential benefits, and any issues or concerns.

Once the consultation is complete, a report will be brought back to the area committee for consideration before a final decision is made on whether to sell the land. 

The council would then need to secure a Common Good Order to allow the land to be sold, outlining the expected benefits of the sale and how community interests would be safeguarded. 

Money generated from any sale of the land would be protected for the benefit of Banff and Macduff under the council’s Common Good Fund.

Banff & Buchan Area Committee chair Cllr Doreen Mair: “This consultation follows years of discussion and negotiation about the future use of Canal Park and we’re now at the stage where we can formally ask the community for their views on the proposals.

“The project would be a significant development for the area and it is essential we have as broad a range of views as possible before a final decision is made.”

Committee vice-chair Cllr Michael Roy added: “This is something that has been discussed for some time and could lead to significant investment in the area, and we want everybody to have the chance to participate and comment on the proposals.

“We know that the Banff, Macduff and wider communities will want to share their thoughts on the project and I would encourage everybody to take part.”