TRADERS and residents have welcomed an assurance from the council that they will do everything they can to safeguard the future of Milngavie town centre.
A petition from Milngavie Community Council – with 2,069 signatures – called for East Dunbartonshire Council to create a masterplan for Milngavie town centre and the surrounding area.
It was presented and noted at Tuesday night’s meeting of the development and infrastructure committee.
The petition raises concerns about the impact on the town centre of proposed developments in the area, including two new supermarkets, Waitrose and Tesco, in Milngavie.
Milngavie Community Council has stressed that it is not anti-Tesco or Waitrose, but members are concerned about how developments such as these have and will affect the existing shopping centre.
Community council convener Fiona Risk said: “Milngavie needs a masterplan or design framework urgently because the future viability and vitality of the town centre is threatened by proposals to build very large supermarkets on our doorstep.
“Milngavie Community Council believes that it is essential that any future planning application which is likely to have an impact on the town centre should be considered in the light of what is best for the town centre and not piecemeal. “As planning applications from both Tesco and Waitrose appear to be imminent the situation is urgent.
“We were pleased that the committee agreed the matter and that it will be considered at the main issues report stage of the forthcoming local development plan in October.
“We hope that at this stage the urgency of the situation will be appreciated so that, as far as the future of Milngavie town centre is concerned, we will not be attempting to lock the stable door after the horse has bolted.”
Gilbert McVean, owner of hardware shop Iron Chef in the precinct, added: “I’m very happy that something is being planned for the area.
“We were very disappointed when our BIDS proposal was rejected because not all the traders voted for it. We need to fight any development that does not benefit Milngavie and independent traders.”
Councillor Eric Gotts added: “We welcomed the petition and will write to Milngavie Community Council to thank them for all their hard work.”
Meanwhile, a display of the proposed Kirkintilloch town centre masterplan will be on show at this year’s canal festival on Sunday, August 26 between 1pm to 5pm. Their plans include improving street spaces and changes to access and parking in the town centre.