Three options for the future of the Allander

DEVELOPERS who want to build houses on the Kilmardinny/Westpark site have put forward three possible options for the future of the Allander Leisure centre.

Cala Homes and the Stewart Milne Group have sent a leaflet to thousands of residents asking them to rank the three options in order of preference.

The choices are - a new building on a former bus garage site next to Milngavie Road, a new build on the leisure centre’s car park or a refurbishment of the existing Allander.

This consultation follows a meeting between developers and East Dunbartonshire councillors last week which aimed to get the project moving forward.

So far they have been unable to agree over plans to build more than 500 new houses on the ‘Kilmardinny strip’ between Bearsden and Milngavie.

There have been wrangles in the past over who will fund a new leisure centre and where and when it will be built as residents don’t want to be left without facilities.

Steve Loomes from Stewart Milne Group Ltd, said: “We are keen to hear what residents think.

“The centre will be for the community, and it is right that that they get the chance to have their say.

“The consultation and public exhibitions will illustrate the options and provide an opportunity for residents to meet the developers and ask questions.

“The decision on the future location of the Allander rests with the council, but this consultation is to enable developers to finalise a masterplan for the Kilmardinny Westpark site.”

Keith Small, spokesman for the Kilmardinny and Westpark Action Group (KWAG), said: “I would encourage people to go along to the events they have planned to see the proposals and make their comments known.

“We should also be asking questions about the proposed development and it’s pros and cons.

“As this consultation is led by the developer the council is not bound by the results.

“It’s vital that the council secures the £10million from the developers towards the cost of a new centre whichever option is chosen.”

Bearsden South Councillor Ashay Ghai said: “Cala’s motives for undertaking this survey are unclear.

“It’s not for a housing developer to take the lead on deciding the future of local sports facilities.

“If they are genuine about consulting with local people, it’s surprising that they have done so without first seeking the input of locally elected representatives who have been campaigning on this issue for years.”

MP Jo Swinson added: “There are unanswered questions about how much the different options would cost and where the money would come from.

“We all want the best for the future of the Allander site, but given Cala’s track record in wanting to build a vast number of new homes on the site, there is understandably some scepticism that they have the community’s best interests at heart.”

Residents can return the feedback form they will receive in the post or during one of the exhibition days.

They can also go online to the consultation website www.kilmardinnywestparkconsultation.co.uk to submit a form.

The website outlines the history of the development and information on the three options, including advantages and disadvantages of each.

Once all the responses have been received, the majority preference will be determined by the same method used in local government elections.

Copies of the newsletter outlining the options and feedback forms are also available in the Allander Leisure centre and at Brookwood, Westerton and Milngavie libraries.

The public events will take place at the West of Scotland Rugby Club, Glasgow Road, on Thursday, November 17 from 10am to 8pm and also at Kessington Public Hall, Milngavie Road, on Friday, November 18 from 10am to 7.30pm and at the same venue on Saturday, November 19, from 10am to 1pm.