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Business / No clarity on when new Co-op stores could be built

Photo: Malcolm Younger for Shetland News

THE CO-OP is unable to say when proposed new stores in Scalloway and Sandwick may open, as early estimates fall by the wayside.

Both stores were given planning permission in 2021 and property developer Seamount, which is leading the projects, said at the time that they could open by early 2023.

However, work has not started on the ground – and this week the Co-op said it could not confirm launch dates for the proposed stores at this point in time.

In 2021 it was said stores at Stove in Sandwick and Scalloway’s East Voe would result in a total investment worth £2.4 million, creating around 40 jobs in the process.

Both had an element of controversy given the stores – planned to be the same size at the Co-op in Brae – would be built in villages with existing local shops.

Warnings were made at the time that they could have a negative impact on both the local retail and wholesale sectors, potentially leading to job losses.

Estimates given out by the projects’ Edinburgh-based property developer Seamount anticipated that construction would begin in 2022, with the stores welcoming customers this year.

It is understood that it is the property developer which is in control of the build, not the Co-op itself.

Both developments must be commenced within three years of their planning consent, which would be October 2024 for Sandwick and December 2024 for Scalloway.

In October last year the Co-op was given provisional alcohol licences for the two proposed stores, despite concern from NHS Shetland about overprovision in the two villages.

Seamount Property Development was approached for a comment but did not respond in time for publication.

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