Sainsbury’s rule out Rhu – but still eyeing Helensburgh

Supermarket giants Sainsbury’s say they have looked at opening a shop as part of Rhu Marina’s redevelopment.

But the plan has now been ruled out, although the company is still keen on opening a convenience store in nearby Helensburgh.

A spokesman said plans for a Sainsbury’s Local at Rhu Marina had been considered and staff had held talks with the Crown Estate.

She added: “Unfortunately we were unable to find a viable scheme for the site and so we have not progressed any plans.

“Helensburgh remains of interest to Sainsbury’s and whilst we have no current plans for stores, we would consider opening a convenience store there should the right location become available in the future.”

The company owns the former Mariner’s pub section of Helensburgh’s pier and have stressed their interest in operating there.

And of the Rhu site, Alasdair Rankin, head of marine business development for owners the Crown Estate, said: “We have been working with Argyll and Bute Council to develop a masterplan that is likely to go out to consultation in early 2013.

“This masterplan will include a variety of different uses on the existing marina site at Rhu to cater for both marina and non marina requirements. This may also include a retail convenience store but we are not at this stage in a position to confirm that.”

Consultants Arc Riley say they have produced early design proposals for Sainsbury’s at Rhu Marina as part of ‘an essentially residential mixed-use development’.

But an Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said the marina was designated as a potential development area (PDA) in the Local Plan, earmarked for mixed use development comprising housing, leisure, tourism, business and retail.

“We are currently awaiting an amended masterplan for the redevelopment of Rhu Marina and we expect this to be submitted by the landowners early in 2013,” she said.

PDAs are areas of land where opportunities may emerge during the life of the Local Plan (five to ten years) for infill, rounding-off, redevelopment or new development.

Masterplans are intended to help assess factors at an early stage including layout, design, access, existing transport infrastructure, landscape and ecology, open space and integration with existing communities.

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