New store plans are slammed

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

Residents have reacted angrily to redesigned plans for a massive superstore.

Tesco unveiled the latest designs for its Gavin’s Mill store in Milngavie at a series of public exhibitions last week.

The supermarket giant had vowed to create a store that was ‘right for Milngavie’ after original plans for its new two storey shop and car park caused outrage amongst residents.

However, residents say the new design, which is only two per cent smaller than the original plan, show Tesco is not listening to their concerns.

Fiona Risk, chairperson of Milngavie Community Council, said: “We’re deeply disappointed.

“We’ve no objection to Tesco expanding, but we would like them to rebuild on their existing site so the store does not turn its back on the village.

“Although the new design is slightly better, it’s still too big and backs onto the town centre.

“This will have a serious impact if it goes ahead. Milngavie precinct is not just a shopping centre, it’s a community centre and we will lose this asset if shops start closing.”

Eve Gilmore, spokesperson for We Like Milngavie, said: “The store remains far too big both for its site and for the village.

“Its footprint is a derisory two per cent smaller than the previous design and the back of the building is still on Woodburn Way, replacing the belt of mature trees with a multi-storey facade.

“Tesco’s depressing proposal marks another missed opportunity to make the most of the parkland and riverside setting and the unique assets of Milngavie.”

MP Jo Swinson said: “Milngavie’s town precinct is currently in good shape, unlike so many across the country that are dying, but Tesco’s plans present a real risk for the local traders in the village.”

Tesco held public consultations into proposals for its new store after the original plans were rejected by East Dunbartonshire Council and the Scottish Government.

Residents also presented the supermarket giant with their own plan for the site after working with architects Page and Park.

COMMITMENT

Gloria Coats, corporate affairs manager for Tesco, said: “Over the three [exhibition] days we were able to explain our commitment to investing in Milngavie with a new store in the town centre.

“Many people were interested to see that the proposed store will be better linked with the other town centre shops with a new crossing at Woodburn Way, improvements to the existing underpasses and provide increased parking within the town centre.

“The exhibition also allowed us to demonstrate the work our team has undertaken to reduce the scale of the building by bringing down the roof height in nearly 50 per cent of the building and reducing the footprint of the building increasing the distance between the store and Gavin’s Mill.

“Members of the community who were unable to speak to me or my team at the exhibition can contact us through the Tesco Community Line on 0845 521 8425 or tesco@communityline.org.”

Residents have until Thursday, June 28 to submit their comments.