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The proposal for a new supermarket on the Baileyfield site is a threat to the viability of Portobello Town Centre as the developers admit there is a downturn in trade to the existing shops. This will affect the butchers, fishmonger, greengrocer and florists alike. The vitality of the town centre is dependent on a variety of shops – not just cafes, hairdressers and tattoo parlours. A mix is required along with banks, estate agents, library etc. in order to keep the town centre vibrant.


This is not just some vague threat as research has shown time after time that the opening of a new supermarket has closed shops in the adjacent town centres and high streets the length and breadth of Britain. In Edinburgh, despite the huge increase in retail facilities, there has been no increase in retail employment blowing a hole in the claim that new jobs will be created. When a supermarket opens jobs are lost elsewhere – local jobs in the local community.  Click here for more myths


This supermarket is not in the town centre and does not have a boundary with it. It would not form an extension to it and with the large number of car parking spaces being proposed, it seeks to form a self-contained retail unit. The developers know the history of the site and the recent refusal for a Lidl store across the Seafield junction where it was held that there is no deficit in quantity and quality of supermarket provision in Edinburgh. There was also a great deal of concern over increased traffic in the area.


However we do have a shortage of housing resulting in the council wanting to build houses on the greenbelt at Brunstane. What a waste of land supply if the Baileyfield site is not totally given over to meeting this pressing housing need especially when there is an Aldi supermarket 2 miles away for those who want one.


Here are some points to ponder:


Portobello Town Centre

The development of this site has been delayed by developers for over ten years however this is no reason for accepting a supermarket on the site. We should expect a better quality development for the gateway to Portobello where housing is predominant.


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