CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating news that controversial plans to turn a church in Bearsden into a restaurant and pub have been rejected.
An action group was set up in the summer to prevent Bearsden North Church – a category B-listed building at the junction of Drymen Road and Thorn Road – from being turned into a restaurant selling alcohol with an outdoor seating area.
Commercial Investment Properties put in an application to change the use of the old church.
Residents who formed Bearsden Action Group argued that the quiet atmosphere of Bearsden Cross would be ruined if the development went ahead.
Chairman Ken Lemond said: “We are delighted with this decision, it was the right one and a great result for Bearsden.
“We would like to thank all the councillors who voted to reject this application.
“In particular, the Bearsden ward councillors did a commendable job in challenging the application on the night and defending Bearsden and the community on this very serious matter.
“The proposal to turn the church into a high volume bar/restaurant was ill-considered.”
Bearsden North Community Council backed the action group and Bearsden Primary School Parent Council also slammed the plans as they had concerns about the safety of children making their way to and from school.
They were worried that delivery lorries would need to go along Thorn Road to the former church, where many schoolchildren walk and cross to get to the school.
Martin Albrow, chairman of the parent council, said: “Our principle worry was the potential of increased traffic. The church is very close to the traffic lights at the bottom of the road.
“Customers would have needed somewhere to park their car and there is already a shortage of spaces in Bearsden Cross.
“The restaurant had potential to seat 46 – this would have meant that when it was full about 28 cars would have needed parking places.”
Convener of Bearsden North Community Council, Gordon Cox, said: “Members voted unanimously to oppose these plans.
“We were against the development on the grounds that it was of unsuitable scale for the location. It was also against the Local Plan 2 as it’s in a residential area.
“We are pleased that permission was not granted.
“We would encourage the developer or a new developer to come forward with alternative plans or use for the church which would be more suitable.”