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Chris Hodge


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What I like best about The Hodge is that he makes his staff have manners. They can' just grunt and point, they actually have to smile and be articulate. I have been told this is a basic requirement for working in his premises and good for him. At last!


Also new verb in English language - "to chodge" or "to go chodging" - ie spend more than 10 minutes walking around Chris Hodge's empororium looking for stuff.


Wonderful place. He has my full admiration and respect for getting off his butt and achieveing his dream.

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Guest Anonymous

i have heard a lot of people refer to him as dodgey hodgey and after having bought one of his paint brush and roller packs , i would say it suits .

the entire pack disintegrated in under 1 hour.

why the hell do they bother manufacturing this kind of thing?

thats as bad if not worse than old dodgey selling it!

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Thanks for the links Carlos but my point remains about the many and the few. The local plan can and has been broken by the sic in the past , when its conveient for them , so I hardly think it is cast in stone.


Sure, just some links so people can see what is supposed to be the local plan.

Then it's clearer if planners or councilors go against it.

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His stuff is fine if you can forget about the sweat shops it came from. If you can buy it for that price here, imagine what the person who made it got paid! "I'll have three days of guilt with that toilet brush holder please Mr Hodge."


The only difference between Mr Hodge and Mr Nike in this respect is that Mr Hodge does not attempt to justify an extra £50 on the price with a fancy label. To suggest that the sale of cut price goods in this country is more responsible for slave labour rates abroad than the sale of expensive goods, is unfair.

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  • 2 weeks later...



I agree completely, it is yet another example of a council that can't find it's ass with both hands.


I'm sure it would be a different outcome if any of our esteemed council members had a vested interest in the business, but it is unfortunately a level of ineptitude that seems to be more and more the norm, rather than an embarrassing one-off.


I haven't followed the story all that closely, but I really hope Chris Hodge is victorious in this case.

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I rather think he will win. The whole area around his warehouse has slowly been edging towards retail use and that, coupled with the lack of available trading space for him in the town centre, should sway the decision in his favour.


That of course could well lead to others wanting to open stores in the area (Lidl, Tesco et al) and I think the council would be well advised to grant new applications if they lose at the public enquiry.


Perhaps the whole attitude of protecting retailers in the town centre needs to be looked at closely. While it might be legal to protect the Street we should be asking just how many councillors have some sort of interest in a town centre business and how that could affect a vote in council even if they declared their interest and left the chamber.


Of course come election time we have a democratic right not to vote for people who have been restricting our freedom as shoppers to have an extended choice of places to shop.

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I see the public enquiry has started. I for one hope he wins as do everyone I have spoken too. But the way the whole thing has been handled is yet another mess by the SIC.


Definitely....It should never have come to this in the first place. It seems to me the only real grounds the cooncil have for acting like a pack on cantankerous old mules on a cold morning is that it "contravenes the local plan" of keeping retail on the street and surrounds. They may not have noticed due to seeing the world through spectacles with a deep pink hue, but retail has been going on in the Holmsgarth/Gremista area for the past 20 years or more, in ever increasing numbers. The list of businesses who've operated, and do operate retail sales, both past and present isn't exactly confined to a mere one or two. To keep on flogging the long dead horse of "keeping retail out of Holmsgarth/Gremista" is about as good a case of denial as I ever saw.


Whatever your personal opinion of either Hodge himself or the stock lines he carries is irrelevant, he's proven there is a market for what he sells and how he sells it, in Shetland. The council then, as a public body "acting in the best interests of each and all Shetland residents" :roll: should, surely then have been trying to work with this man, encouraging and assisting him to become established and provide the service folks have shown they wanted, rather than making it as difficult as possible for him to survive.


I wouldn't recognise the man if I found him in my gruel, but he has my sympathy. The council put him in an impossible position, the last remaining site anywhere near their "designated retail zone" which could have been big enough to cope with his type of enterprise, IMHO, was the North Ness, but it had already been designated for other roles and was already filling with rather strange and unusual looking buildings by the time he came along. It's easy enough for the council to keep shouting at him "all retail on the street", but when, as is the case, there is no possible location available for what the man was trying to do, and highly unlikely ever to be one, they may as well just have said "why don't you just f*** off back to Ayrshire where you belong and leave us alone". Is that any way for the local elected representatives to act towards someone who is trying to establish a wanted service to the Shetland public and hire local people to work?


I hope the Public Enquiry slates the cooncil hard with a hefty kick to every one of them where the good Lord split them, and lets the guy get on with running his business in peace once and for all.

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The council put him in an impossible position....


It's easy enough for the council to keep shouting at him "all retail on the street", but when, as is the case, there is no possible location available for what the man was trying to do, and highly unlikely ever to be one.....


I think this is where the case hinges, legally at least.

If the local plan has no other areas zoned for this kind of development, and there is a proven demand..... is the local plan valid?


The local plan can extend protection for the town centre, but I don't think it is allowable to have a blanket ban...

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