THE ball has started rolling in a process which could change the face of Bearsden and Milngavie forever.
Developer Cala Homes has officially signalled that it wants work to start on the controversial Kilmardinny development.
This will see around 550 homes built on land between Bearsden and Milngavie, and will lead to the Allander Leiusire centre being replaced.
Cala this week submitted an application to East Dunbartonshire Council to ammend the ‘Kilmardinny masterplan’ - the planing famework covering the area.
Its application details the new location for the Allander sports complex - on the centre’s existing car park.
Also mentioned in the submission is the provision of the new train station with park-and-ride facilities between Hillfoot and Milngavie.
Cala’s proposals have been controversial since they were first mooted in 2007 and have been subject to a long, drawn out wrangle involving a Scottish Government inquiry.
Concerns had been raised about the amount of houses being proposed and the impact this would have on the area.
The future of the Allander Leisure centre had been a major stumbling block, with developers and the council disagreeing on the way forward and fears being raised that whatever promises were made, any closure may mean it would never open again.
This impasse was breached last December when a plan was agreed which would see a new facility built on the existing car park, with Cala footing £10million of the £17m bill and a guarantee was given that the existing centre would continue to operate while the new one was being built - with complete continuity of services.
Another issue was the proposed rail halt - campaigners said this was a vital part of any development and was needed to serve the needs of thousands of new commuters.
MSP Gil Paterson recently conducted a survey which showed that 82 per cent of people think that a new stop is essenitial.
He said: “My opposition and reservations regarding the scale of the development have been widely publicised.
“However, since Kilmardinny will proceed and given that we must accept what we cannot change, many consider a rail halt to be fundamental to easing the traffic congestion problems that the development will cause on the A81 and the park and ride will considerably reduce the parking problems at existsing stations throughout Bearsden and Milngavie.”