TWO developers at the centre of ambitious plans to bring big name stores to Spalding have locked horns over the benefits their schemes will bring to the town.
After claims in the Spalding Guardian on Thursday that the Holland Market development would not bring any benefits for the people of South Holland, a furious Michael Moran, who represents Holland Market owner Corbo’s interests in the UK, is believed to have contacted Richard Garvie to express his anger.
Mr Garvie, the man behind plans for a Sustainable Spalding regeneration company, revealed plans to bring a supermarket and cinema to a 12-acre site off the A151 opposite Spalding’s McDonalds.
He claims it would generate millions of pounds of investment and pay for the running costs of a regeneration company for five years, while Holland Market plans would “not lead to any new investment in new facilities for Spalding”.
Corbo has threatened to take legal action against Mr Garvie unless he publicly retracts his statement.
Mr Moran told the Lincolnshire Free Press: “I had a rather blunt conversation with him and I told him we take it very seriously when someone makes false claims about our scheme.
“He hasn’t got a clue what we are doing.”
Town leaders have dismissed Mr Garvie’s plan as “pie in the sky”, saying he has not come forward with any concrete evidence to back up claims the site was the option preferred by the majority of people he talked to during a consultation exercise last year.
Jason Rooke, chairman of Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce, said: “It strikes me that Mr Garvie’s plan hasn’t got any legs, but even if it did, what would we prefer – a development within the town, albeit to the side of the town centre, or one on the outskirts of town?
“To me the town needs development, not the bypass, so my feeling would be that if Holland Market is done carefully it would be a positive thing.
“To say that Holland Market development would not lead to investment in the town is ridiculous, because there are plans for additional community facilities such as the football stadium.”