GRAVE fears over the future of Milngavie Town Centre have been expressed by hundreds of local people as supermarket giants gear up for a major move.
More than 2,100 anxious residents have signed a petition calling for a masterplan for not just the precinct but for the surrounding area as well.
And they claim piecemeal development will have a huge affect on sales in the popular pedestrianised centre.
Concerned Milngavie Community Council bosses have laid down a marker ahead of forthcoming moves from high street giants including Tesco, Britain’s largest retailer in global sales and domestic market share, and up-market Waitrose.
And they believe the clock is ticking fast as the retail giants are ready to submit planning applications.
Community chiefs have handed in a petition to East Dunbartonshire Council and they have demanded a masterplan taking in Milngavie town centre and the surrounding area.
They are backed by Milngavie Civic Trust, Milngavie in Bloom, We Like Milngavie, Mains Residents Association, Bearsden and Milngavie Ramblers Association and Milngavie Heritage Group.
But community council leaders stress they are not anti-supermarkets.
Fiona Risk, convenor of Milngavie Community Council, said: “A petition raised by Milngavie Community Council containing 2,188 signatures taken from users of Milngavie Town Centre has been delivered to East Dunbartonshire Council.
“It requests that the council agrees to formulate urgently a masterplan for Milngavie centre and its environs.
“The reason Milngavie Community Council raised this petition is because of its great concern for the future viability and vitality of Milngavie Town Centre.
“The community council is certainly not anti-Tesco or anti-Waitrose.
“However, we believe that it is essential for the future prosperity of Milngavie Town Centre that any planning application which is likely to have an impact on the town centre is considered in the light of what is best for the town centre rather than piecemeal or simply on the merits of the individual application.
“For this to be effective we believe that a masterplan or design framework for Milngavie Town Centre is essential. As planning applications from both Tesco and Waitrose appear to be imminent then the masterplan is urgent.”
Tesco’s controversial plans for a massively expanded Gavin’s Mill store have already been knocked back by East Dunbartonshire Council and the Scottish Government - but they are preparing to come back with revised proposals.
Waitrose want to build a new food store on a rugby pitch on Glasgow Road, near the Burnbrae Roundabout.