Sir, – In reply to Mr Stein’s letter of last week, we were surprised and disappointed at the invective shown by his negative attitudes, especially coming from a trader in a neighbouring town.
His tirade/lecture cites the short-sighted attitude of traders, which puzzles us, as those who live and work here are very aware of the wonderful diversity of retail and service businesses which we have and that very diversity is evident in the high occupancy of premises, but mainly in the number of independent businesses which are sustained in Linlithgow.
The diversity of independents is the main reason we have such a vibrant and interesting town centre, unlike other places in the area, and which brings local customers back to us all the year round.
We have had numerous favourable comments from customers in the last few weeks proudly telling us that they have done all their Christmas shopping here in the town without the stress and expense of travelling elsewhere.
We offer many varied options for shopping, and give personal customer service our highest priority, including special orders and deliveries, so are confused by his view that we exhibit ‘narrow-minded selfishness’.
If by that he means we should welcome yet another coffee shop (when we already have many admirable places to stop for a cuppa) and especially one housed in an allegedly dangerous building, then perhaps he would like to pay us a visit and we will be delighted to change his negative mind-set.
We do already have new and unique businesses here in the High Street which are testament to the bravery and leap of faith which many of our traders are prepared to take.
A passionate commitment with a positive attitude and awareness of current economic trends is always something we take into account and which we would like to display to him when he comes along to visit.
Also Mr Stein’s comments with reference to online shopping and his apparent desire to stifle the comments of Journal and Gazette readers, indicates a lack of understanding of the impact virtual retailing will play in future shopping profiles.
No business can ignore the challenges which now exist, even the butchers businesses in Bathgate.
Instead many of the existing High Street businesses are exploring the evolving alternative routes to our existing and new customers whilst keeping a positive and customer focused attitude at all times.
This approach, as opposed to attempting to gag the press coverage of readers’ views, will ensure the longevity of both the Journal and Gazette and the High Street.
Finally, perhaps we are very lucky here to have businesses which are independent and thriving in a unique and beautiful place, but we never forget that people are what really matter from whichever side of the counter you stand. – Yours, etc.,
Linlithgow High Street Traders Group.
Sir, -Your front page two weeks ago posed the question ‘Do we need another café?’
The agent mentioned in your report is James Barr Ltd.
As it happens, it is also the firm which prepared the retail impact analysis for Wallace Land when that company made a planning application last year for an out-of- town supermarket at Burghmuir.
There may be differing views on the desirability of another café but there is no doubt whatsoever that Linlithgow does not need or want another supermarket.
That was underlined by the remarkable fact that 1175 residents submitted objections to the application with West Lothian Council.
The latest update on that application is that the council recently initiated further analyses of the retail impact and air quality implications of the proposed development.
As a result of this additional information, it will be re-advertising the planning application in your columns in the near future.
There will be a 28 day period from the date of the advertisement during which comments can be submitted.
All of the comments which were submitted at the time of the planning application last February continue to be valid and will be taken into account. However, new comments will be accepted which relate to the amended retail impact statement and air quality analysis.
These documents will be publicly available by the time the application is readvertised. – Yours etc.,
Chairman, Linlithgow Against Supermarket Development,
High Street, Linlithgow.
Sir – For some time I have doubted the practicality and wisdom of the proposed development east of the old Sun plant (Oracle).
This was confirmed by the photos I took on January 1, 2013, (reproduced above).
There are numerous areas on the proposed site which are prone to flooding and this area is clearly the worst.
This is the field opposite the eastern entrance to Springfield facing north (note family of 12 adult swans).
The following questions occur to me 1. Who is going to buy property in an area prone to flooding and; 2. If the area can be drained, can this be undertaken without flooding the M9 to the north or the current housing to the south ? – Yours etc.,
Laurence J Stewart