Cala: we’ll plough on with Kilmardinny plan for Bearsden

Kilmardinny strip of land 'Photo by Emma Mitchell'17/5/13

Kilmardinny strip of land 'Photo by Emma Mitchell'17/5/13

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Cala’s massive project to build new houses at Kilmardinny, between Milngavie and Bearsden, is still on the cards.

There has been speculation in recent weeks about the developer’s intentions regarding development of the land, after East Dunbartonshire Council (EDC) granted Waitrose permission to build on land owned by West of Scotland rugby club.

Cala had wanted to build there but an agreement with West lapsed in 2010, allowing Waitrose to move in.

It has been estimated that the West land comprises as much as 40 per cent of the developable land on the ‘Kilmardinny Strip’ where Cala had wanted to build 550 homes - a proposal which has received significant local opposition.

Waitrose moving in has blown a massive hole in Cala’s plans and following the decision, the house builder’s future intentions were unclear.

Gordon Cox, of the Kilmardinny Westpark Action Group, which was formed to oppose the development, said: “The Waitrose decision must have changed perceptions for Cala.

“Instead of being able to build 500 homes they will only be able to build, say, 300.

“This has been such a long, drawn out process and there are still legal agreements to be signed with the council and it will be interesting to see how this turns out.”

However, Cala said that it does intend to proceed - starting with the old bus garage site off Milngavie Road, which it owns.

A spokesperson said: “Cala Homes continues to have an interest in Bearsden and intends to bring forward details for development of the Bus Garage site in the near future.

“As part of these plans, Cala has ear-marked contributions towards the planning gain for the redevelopment of the Allander sports centre.”

EDC and Cala still have to nail down the exact details of how cash will be paid towards the building of a new Allander Leisure centre.

An agreement has been made that the present one will be knocked down and a new one built nearby.

However, EDC has agreed to allow Cala to peg its contribution to the £19million project to how much land it gets to develop.

Now it can’t build at West, that means less cash (possibly as much as £4million) for the Allander, leaving cash-strapped EDC to make up the shortfall.

Thomas Glen, EDC’s development and regeneration director, said: “The council is currently in discussions with the developer regarding their proposed plans for land at Kilmardinny.”