THERE was a mixed reaction to yesterday’s news that there will be a Tesco store built at Wallneuk.
The supermarket giant welcomed the plan for Paisley but campaigners said they were disappointed.
Chris Johnstone, spokesperson for Paisley Transition Town, said they would rather have seen the new Tesco store be built at the Love Street site.
He explained: “The store at Love Street wouldn’t have had any clothes in it, it would only have sold food.
“The only thing keeping the centre of Paisley going is its clothes shops. If people start buying their clothes at Tesco, they won’t be buying them in the town centre and that will be the beginning of the end.
“We, as a group, are very keen to build up the centre of Paisley and the community in the town centre.
Chris said the group, which was set up 18 months ago and has 50 members on its mailing list, wants to help prepare Paisley for a sustainable future.
Tesco’s application was downsized from the original plans to an 11,000sq m store. Just over half of the space (53 per cent) will be dedicated to food and the rest to clothes and other non-food items.
It will be open 24 hours a day and supermarket bosses estimate the plan will create 589 jobs.
Tesco’s corporate affairs manager in Scotland, Jennifer Duncan, welcomed the new store.
She said: “We are delighted that councillors decided to approve our planning application recognising the opportunities a Tesco store at Wallneuk will bring to Paisley.
“A Tesco store at Wallneuk will give the people of Renfrewshire more choice in shopping, attract tens of thousands of people back to the town every week and will create almost 600 jobs, half of which will go to the long-term unemployed as we work in partnership with Jobcentre Plus to fill these vacancies.”
Paisley Central and West Community Council chairman John Wilby said: “If there is a ‘material’ difference in the proposals then Tesco should have submitted a revised application to allow all parties and the public to give consideration to the revised proposals.
“On the other hand, if the proposed reductions are not so ‘material’ as to justify a new application, in other words, a significantly different proposal, then naturally, the previous concerns still stand.
“Whatever the position, Tesco could submit, at a later date, proposals that would re-instate the original proposals, and with no certainty of the planning application outcome.
“Time will tell if our prediction of adverse affects on re-generating the town centre and West End come to fruition.”