TESCO has produced plans for a new store in Milngavie that are just TWO SQUARE METRES smaller than its previous proposals - which were thrown out for being too big.
The supermarket giant has been accused of ‘insulting’ the town with the move, which has been greeted with astonishment by opponents.
Tesco’s slogan is Every Little Helps - but on this occasion, protesters say they have taken this to extremes and have given far too little ground.
The company has responded by claiming it IS taking people’s concerns into consideration - to the extent that it has proposed cutting back the new store’s overall ‘footprint’ - if not its scale or total floorspace - by 200 square metres compared to the original plan.
The multinational had submitted plans for a revamped Gavin’s Mill store with a gross floor area of 10,221 square metres in 2008.
However, amid claims that a ‘monster’ new store would dominate the town and drain the life from Milngavie Precinct, East Dunbartonshire Council (EDC) booted the scheme into touch - as did the Scottish Government at a subsequent inquiry.
Now Tesco, which has faced customer calls for a boycott because of its stance, has come back with its new proposals - for a store of 10,219 square metres, a downsizing of less than two square metres, or less than one hundredth of a per cent.
The supermarket chain will submit its new plans to EDC for approval over the next few months - and unveiled them to protest group We Like Milngavie (WLM) this week.
WLM chair Robin Brown said: “Tesco has not taken the opportunity to listen to local community groups and hundreds of local residents whose objection was to the inappropriate size of the proposed new store.
“Instead Tesco is finalising revised proposals for a second planning application to be submitted later this year or early next year, for a store of 10,219 square metres, a reduction of two square metres - less than one hundreth of a per cent, which is not even a sop to the concerns of local residents.
“So far, Tesco and its team has not listened to the community, the councillors, the local MP, the local MSPs and even its own customers.
“The overwhelming view of the people of Milngavie is that the proposed store is too large for the needs of the area and inappropriate for the constrained site and the village setting, adjacent to a listed building and beside a conservation area.
“Tesco has stated that any new store must be double the size of the existing store to justify the investment – but it has not provided evidence of this.
“Its key aim appears to be to compete with Asda, which it could have done by expanding and upgrading the existing store with possible extensions to the east making better use of their loading bay area, or by adding a mezzanine floor.”
Get your Herald today for full story