Legion ‘holding us to ransom’ over Buckley store

Reporter:

Robert Doman

ANGRY councillors say they are being held to ransom over a long-awaited supermarket development.

Councillors in Buckley accused the Royal British Legion of stalling on the sale of a site earmarked for the scheme.

At Tuesday’s town council meeting they voiced their frustration at the Legion’s stance, accusing the organisation of wanting too much money and ‘not playing fair’.

Now they are considering freezing the RBL out of the supermarket project – which is seen as a key part of the Buckley Masterplan for regeneration.

Cllr Dennis Hutchinson said: “The RBL has been holding a gun to our heads for the last three years.

“Nothing has happened and it is to the Legion’s discredit that it has pursued this course of action.”

Flintshire Council initially entered negotiations with the RBL over the site near Precinct Way in 2010 but reached a stalemate over the sale of the land.

Both parties re-entered negotiations on the matter last month but it appears the deadlock cannot be broken after the unitary council opted to put its own adjoining site up for sale to make way for the prospective development.

Cllr Ron Hampson said: “Buckley desperately needs a new supermarket but the Legion is making totally unreasonable demands.

“The town has always supported the RBL and they need to play fair.

“The RBL is holding out for a particular price and being awkward about access.

“When the Legion came to Buckley they had a lot of help from us, including financial assistance, but now that is not being reciprocated.

“The people at the RBL HQ in Pall Mall are driving a very hard bargain which is very disappointing.”

Fellow councillor, Carol Ellis, added: “People in Buckley don’t deserve to be held to ransom.”

She urged Flintshire Council to proceed with selling its own land and said: “We should freeze the RBL out of this and move on without them.”

Any development that moves forward without the use of land currently owned by the RBL would, however, compromise the existing supermarket plan, with the likelihood being a reduction in size.

See full story in the Leader

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