While they're pleased to see a new business coming to town, Bay Roberts council members have concerns about the location of a Pipers store that's due to open later this year.
At the Tuesday, May 28 regular meeting, council members unanimously granted approval for commercial occupancy of the building, located at 139-141 Conception Bay Highway. The property was formerly home to Atlantic Restaurant Supplies, which recently moved across the road into a building next to Powell's Supermarket.
Coun. Geoff Seymour was the first council member to express concerns about the location. It's nestled between Water Street and George Mercer, which both intersect with Conception Bay Highway, as does Country Road, whose entry point is directly across from the new Pipers location. Powell's Supermarket has an access point directly across from Water Street.
"There's a concern there with that location, in terms of traffic flow and congestion," Seymour said. "It is a tricky intersection. Pipers is going to put a lot more volume of traffic there, I'd think, than (Atlantic Restaurant Supplies)."
Deputy-Mayor Walter Yetman agreed the issue merits further discussion and suggested the town's planning and development committee could investigate further and perhaps even meet with representatives from Pipers. Councillors agreed, upon approval of the application, to also refer the matter to planning.
Mayor Philip Wood noted the location was previously home of the Wescal department store and has a history as a site for retail businesses. That said, Wood said he could see no harm in monitoring the traffic situation in the area and meeting with Pipers.
Coun. Dean Franey said his main concern with the addition of Pipers would be its coexistence with the Water Street-Conception Bay Highway intersection, adding there may be a need to consider making changes to traffic rules in the area.
The commercial occupancy approval is subject to an inspection by the fire chief, municipal development regulations and those required by other regulatory departments, which would include the province.
Pipers announced in March it would expand its business to Bay Roberts, while also closing two locations in the St. John's metro area. The business is known for selling clothing, hardware, housewares, linens, confectionery, grocery, cleaning supplies and health and beauty aids.