Retailers’ fears over Waitrose coming to Milngavie

Waitrose
Waitrose

TRADERS have warned that Milngavie’s new Waitrose store could sound the ‘death knell’ for the town.

They fear businesses will collapse after the upmarket superstore was allowed to set up at the Burnbrae Roundabout.

Officials had recommended rejecting Waitrose on plannijng grounds whilst also citing fears about ‘retail impact’.

However, at a meeting last week, councillors voted the scheme through after hearing that 180 jobs will be created.

They also heard claims that Waitrose will actually bring trade into the area.

However, Ian Lavrie, chair of Milngavie Traders’ Association, said: “We are very aware that Waitrose is tremendously popular but we just don’t think this location is right.

“Our view is that it will really be the death knell for Milngavie town centre.

“It will especially have an impact on Iceland, M&S and Tesco.

“We don’t think people will travel from Waitrose to the town centre - they will just go home.

“I’d love to be proved wrong, but we are all very concerned for the future of our businesses.”

However, Waitrose said it looks forward to becoming a “positive part of the community.”

A spokesman said: ““Due to our wide catchment, the vitality and viability of Milngavie will not be threatened.

“A vibrant town centre benefits everyone – ourselves, the town centre retailers and the local residents.”

Work will begin on the site - a pitch owned by West rugby club - later this year, and Waitrose is due to be open for business in 2014.

West - who have backed the plan from the start - will have a new, all weather pitch created for them.