Kids turfed out!

TESCO MILNGAVIE 1.12.09 PICTURE BY JAMIE FORBES
TESCO MILNGAVIE 1.12.09 PICTURE BY JAMIE FORBES

THE Boclair Under 5’s group will be forced to STOP meeting while the Tesco hearing takes place in Kessington Hall, Bearsden, at the beginning of February.

Last week, we told how the public hearing for Tesco’s appeal against the refusal of their planning application to build a new store in Milngavie, was originally going to be held in Milngavie Town Hall.

The Director of Planning and Environment Appeals (DPEA) is responsible for booking the venue and they said they attempted to get Milngavie Town Hall but were refused due to a prior let and booked Kesssington Hall instead.

But this week the council has claimed that they were not approached by the DPEA to book Milngavie Town Hall.

A spokesperson for East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “When there is a Scottish Office public hearing any other lets in either hall are automatically cancelled. So if they had approached Milngavie Town Hall any other bookings would have been cancelled to accomodate the hearing.”

Provost Eric Gotts, MP Jo Swinson and residents who are opposed to the new superstore, were concerned by the decision to move the hearing away from Milngavie as it wouldn’t be so convenient for people.

Kessington Hall was threatened with closure last year when the council was looking at ways of cutting costs.

As a result it is currently being taken over by the community and in the future the council would have to apply for permission to use the premises.

The Tae Kwon Do group, who are taking over ownership, are awaiting charitable status so that they don’t have to pay council tax for the hall.

Shirley Otley runs the Boclair Under 5’s group which has 75 members and meets on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday every week. She said: “We are furious about this, it seems it’s OK to put us out but not another group who had booked Milngavie Town Hall.

“We were offered to use the hall downstairs but we could only use that on Tuesdays and Thursdays as there is a pilates class on Wednesdays.

“We’d also need to take toys up and down the stairs and mums would struggle to get in with their pushchairs. It’s just not practical so we are going to have to suspend our meetings until the end of the hearing and that could last for a week or two.”

Liberal Democrat group leader Ashay Ghai, who has always campaigned against the closure of Kessington Hall, said: “I am disappointed that a mistake on such a major booking as the Tesco Milngavie public inquiry has resulted in severe inconvenience.”