Superstore plans new depot

A SUPERMARKET giant is aiming to cement its position in the Falkirk area with a brand new £40 million distribution centre that will create 100 new jobs.

However, community representatives fear Asda’s plans to develop the facility at the former ICI Social Club in Earls Road, Grangemouth, could create major traffic headaches.

Members of Grangemouth Community Council also believe the move to bring the depot to that particular site, if successful, would be viewed as hypocritical since the development would bring hundreds of people into Grangemouth’s so-called “hazard zone”.

Community council convener Walter Inglis said: “Proposed developments in the past have been kicked off this site because it is in the hazard zone, but now we have this development which will bring hundreds of employees.

“There are double standards being applied here.”

The ICI Social Club and its associated sporting activities stopped operating in 2008 because of new safety laws from the Health and Safety Executive. This led Kemfine - now known as Calachem - to conclude the site could no longer be used for unrestricted recreation purposes and would be more suitable for general industry.

At a meeting of the community council last Thursday members heard a presentation from representatives of Bericote and Calachem in which they confirmed they were working on the development on Asda’s behalf.

They said the superstore giant is looking to consolidate its presence in the Falkirk area by building a brand new 500,000 square metre facility.

The developers said: “This is the only site suitable for Asda in this location. If they can’t go there they may go elsewhere - their existing depots are no longer fit for purpose.

“It will be a large distribution site for a major employer which would ensure they would stay in this area.”

The proposed development would be 180 metres away from residents in Dalgrain Road and 80 metres away from the Grange Manor Hotel in Glensburgh Road.

The developers said they would put up a willow wall to screen the 18 metre high depot from the road.

Traffic levels were a major concern for community council members, especially after the developers stated the depot would be operating 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, with just over 500 HGVs visiting the premises each day.