PLANS to build a Waitrose store in Milngavie came a step closer this week after councillors agreed to hold a public hearing into the pros and cons of the application.
It would be built on land currently owned by West of Scotland Football Club, who would have a new all-weather pitch built at their Burnbrae site as part of the deal.
The hearing is due to take place sometime in April.
Councillors voted to go ahead with the hearing at an East Dunbartonshire planning meeting on Tuesday this week.
Town Centre Securities (TCS), would-be developers of the project, and West lodged the joint application in October last year, following a wide-ranging consultation exercise with the local community.
John Cameron, President of West, said: “We hope that supporters of the proposal will turn out to make their views heard at the hearing and tell councillors why they welcome this high-quality development that will benefit the community as well as the club, guaranteeing our long-term future at Burnbrae.”
Martin Gorman, senior development surveyor speaking on behalf of Waitrose, said there was already a legal agreement in place between Waitrose and TCS, offering certainty to local people that they were fully committed to the project.
He added: “We believe that a new Waitrose store will provide a wider choice of quality food shopping for people in Milngavie and act as a shopping draw.
“With more food spending retained in the Milngavie area, we’re also confident that the town centre will benefit from associated spending as we help to bring new people into the area.”
The hearing will give TCS, West and Waitrose an opportunity to present their case direct to councillors.
They will be outlining what they say is strong public support for the proposal, which would see a new Waitrose store built on West’s third pitch and a new all-weather pitch built on an area that is currently surplus, providing first-class facilities available for community use.
The public will also be given an opportunity to make representations at the hearing.
David Donkin, speaking on behalf of TCS, said: “We are delighted to be able to present what we believe is a strong case to councillors.
“Our proposal enjoys strong support from local people, who see the benefits that a new Waitrose will bring to the area, and who recognise the certainty that our proposal will deliver for the community and for West.”