Council looking for £10m Allander cash

TALKS are underway to ensure a cast iron guarantee is given over funding for a new Allander sports centre.

Developers Cala Homes and Stewart Milne have put forward, in a public consultation which lasts until December 2, three options for the future of the facility, which is at the centre of a long-running wrangle over plans to build houses on the ‘Kilmardinny strip’ between Bearsden and Milngavie.

The developers have said they will put £10million towards the construction of the new facility - with East Dunbartonshire Council footing the rest of the estimated £17m bill.

However, concerns have been raised that the developers have not committed to providing that cash for each of the three options they have tabled.

Cala has previously pledged the £10m towards building a new centre on the derelict site of the former bus garage just off Milngavie Road. However, it is unclear whether this level of cash would still be available should any of their other options - a new centre on the existing Allander car park or leaving the facility where it is and refurbishing it - go forward.

Gerry Cornes, chief executive of East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “The Kilmardinny/Westpark developers have decided to progress a brief consultation in relation to potential locations for any new or refurbished Allander centre. This follows from the council’s own extensive consultation earlier in the year which was based on the Reporter’s decision to consent the planning application on the basis of a £10m developer’s contribution to a replacement Allander on the former bus garage site.

“The developers have now introduced an alternative option for a replacement facility on the site of the existing Allander car park and are clearly seeking the public’s view on a preferred option.

“Officers are engaging with the developers to seek an assurance that the same level of contribution, ie £10m, will be available for all of the options being proposed as alternatives. This will clearly be an important factor for the council and would as a matter of course require to be legally binding.

“In the meantime, and following the outcome of the council’s consultation exercise, detailed work has progressed around various options for new build and refurbishment. All of this is informed by the responses provided by the local community and further discussions have been held with key user groups. Once clarification is obtained from the developers on the financial contribution to each option they propose, the council will then be in a position to make a fully informed decision on the way ahead.”