Midlothian Forum

A place to talk about Midlothian Scotland and more
 
HomeHome  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  Log in  

Share | 
 

 Penicuik Town Centre - Souless in every way!

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
EngTech

avatar

Number of posts : 2
Registration date : 2008-02-18

PostSubject: Penicuik Town Centre - Souless in every way!   Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:36 pm

I live in Penicuik and have done for the last four years and even in that short space of time I have seen a decline in the quality and variety of retail outllets in the town centre.

The fruit store, video rental store, internet cafe, travel agents even a branch of the Clydsdale bank all gone!

The reason, well thats the big question?

What one thing really affects small businesses or branches (with the exeption of a Bank) the rising expense of rent & council tax!

Now for me as an outsider, Penicuik is a lovely medium sized town located in Midlothian and at the foot of the stunning Pentland Hills. Not a bad start. There many attractive buildings in the town centre and some like the Town Hall even hold Architectural merit.

So why are Midlothian Council so inept at masterplanning and so short sighted in their decisions when it comes to poor old Peniciuk We could be just like Peeples, in my opinion a successful rural town attracting visiters from all around to its many tea rooms and nick-nack shops.

The best Midlothian Council has come up with is granting planning permision for two discount supermarkets, Lidl & Aldi. Economy drivers or what!

Please refer to the following link for more details.
http://midforum.editboard.com/midlothian-local-issues-f3/the-plans-for-lidl-in-penicuik-imrie-place-etc-t44.htm
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Wen



Number of posts : 58
Registration date : 2007-08-26

PostSubject: Re: Penicuik Town Centre - Souless in every way!   Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:35 pm

Sadly I agree with you Eng Tech. I moved here 7 years ago. I too hoped to see a thriving small town.

Something I was told by Roger Hipkin of the CPDT was that a lot of the property in the town centre is owned by foreign investors, and, because of rising property prices in the area, is as valuable empty as used for local amenity. (I would not wish to misrepresent him on this and apologise if I misunderstood).

If that is the case then we have to face the fact that we are just a suburb of Edinburgh. The majority of us are commuters there anyway.

Have you spoken to the community council or the local councillors, just in any kind of social way, to check what the plan is - if there is a plan?

My own suspicion is that, once the mining went, Midlothian just became greater Edinburgh. It's sad. I know there are others who feel as you do. I refer you to the PCDT who certainly share your view.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
musicman



Number of posts : 308
Registration date : 2007-08-29

PostSubject: Re: Penicuik Town Centre - Souless in every way!   Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:27 pm

Peebles currently has one major advantage over Penicuik, you won't find any retail parks or out of town supermarkets within 10-15 minutes drive and that is the problem with Penicuik, Peebles also has a wider population so serve such as Innerleithen, Broughton etc - Penicuik potentially serves Silverburn, West Linton, Howgate etc but if you can reach here then a few miles along the road...
I agree that it is a shame that local businesses cannot thrive, but they would if people used them and at the critical time they didn't!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
pitsgate



Number of posts : 153
Registration date : 2007-09-01

PostSubject: Re: Penicuik Town Centre - Souless in every way!   Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:06 pm

musicman, you've hit the nail on the head. Penicuik's biggest problem is that it does not have a "hinterland"; it is not a county town like Peebles is and, yes, it's too close to Edinburgh and its retail parks to thrive.
But for EngTech to blame Midlothian Council shows a lack of understanding about how local government works. The Council can only grant consent for what is put before it. And the consents are for a total of six retail units (of which Lidl happens to be one) which the developer (I understand) is fairly confident he has tenants for.
I could add that if you want to bring people back into the town centre then you could do a lot worse than an anchor store like Lidl, but the only way the shops in Penicuik will succeed is if people support them. I don't know of any businessman who wantonly shuts up shop when he is making a living. If the fruit shop has gone and the travel agent has gone and the Clydesdale has gone it's purely and simply because the figures weren't adding up.
The old saying "Use it or lose it" still applies.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
gonzo

avatar

Number of posts : 76
Registration date : 2008-02-12

PostSubject: Re: Penicuik Town Centre - Souless in every way!   Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:48 am

Anchor store - Lidl, I better reserve my car parking space now if everyone is going to be flocking too it!! Very Happy
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sam The Skeptic



Number of posts : 10
Registration date : 2008-03-14

PostSubject: Re: Penicuik Town Centre - Souless in every way!   Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:45 pm

Quote :
a lot of the property in the town centre is owned by foreign investors, and, because of rising property prices in the area, is as valuable empty as used for local amenity.
Only true if you believe Ulster is a foreign country, Wen.
Quote :
I would not wish to misrepresent him ...
Why ever not? Very Happy
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Wen



Number of posts : 58
Registration date : 2007-08-26

PostSubject: Re: Penicuik Town Centre - Souless in every way!   Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:56 pm

Sam, you seem to have information on this, so please could you expand and tell us who does own the town centre? Since shops are left empty rather than filled - and any owner wants best return - what is the economic basis for leaving those shops empty rather than offering them at cheaper rents for use.

I recall that at one time Bob McDonald and a group of others wanted to start a youth drop-in cafe. To me it would seem sensible that one or other of the premises were rented out cheaply for a purpose of that kind rather than leaving them empty and deteriorating. Clearly that seems less sensible to the property owners.

I assume an economic basis for this. Would you like to tell us what you consider it to be, please? Very Happy
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sam The Skeptic



Number of posts : 10
Registration date : 2008-03-14

PostSubject: Re: Penicuik Town Centre - Souless in every way!   Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:45 pm

The shops that were built in the precinct whenever it was (80s?) are owned by a firm called LJR Properties based in Northern Ireland. They have planning permission for shops and flats on the site of the former Edwards building and the eyesore that should have gone decades ago. The hoarding is a great improvement IMHO!
They are now waiting for the result of test bores to establish whether the site is contaminated.
They also have permission except for one or two details for a new store for Lidl over the road and two more shop units next to Somerfield.
When eventually Midlothian Council get round to rubber-stamping the paperwork we might see some long overdue development in the town.
Any empty shop units in the town centre are empty because no-one wants to take on the lease or can't afford it or don't think they're going to be able to make a living.
The idea of opening a youth drop-in cafe is a non-starter. We've had two in the last few years and both have folded for lack of interest. (What is a "drop-in" cafe, by the way? I "drop in" to cafes in Penicuik quite often. I'm sure they would all be happy to serve any youths that "dropped in".)
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Wen



Number of posts : 58
Registration date : 2007-08-26

PostSubject: Re: Penicuik Town Centre - Souless in every way!   Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:45 am

Sam The Skeptic wrote:

Any empty shop units in the town centre are empty because no-one wants to take on the lease or can't afford it or don't think they're going to be able to make a living.

Thank you for the clarification, Sam.

A simple question. To me it would seem sensible to lower the rent (so someone might make a living there) and keep buildings occupied - at least then you've some money coming in. How can it be better for them to leave them empty, with the inevitable deterioration that goes with that? It doesn't seem sensible to me - and I assume them to be savvy people. Do you know why? (I accept that, since you're not psychic, you might not - it's just something I wonder about.)

As for the youth drop-in cafes - I remember one at the old Army Cadet buildings. I am not sure if that still exists. Someone made a similar point to me on another forum. Maybe today's youth don't want cafes. If they did we might see a cafe around that could give someone a living, playing their music, with the gadgets they like. Very Happy Very Happy
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Penicuik Town Centre - Souless in every way!   

Back to top Go down
 
Penicuik Town Centre - Souless in every way!
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Janashakthi's Full Option Auto Centre turns seven
» Mustafa comes to Kotahena
» Commercial Bank opens 24-hour banking centre near BIA
» SIA and Silkair to upgrade reservations system
» Hats off to Gotta....!

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Midlothian Forum :: Midlothian Local Issues-
Jump to: