Concern over plans for Bearsden Burgh Hall

Artist impression of Bearsden Burgh Hall new hub
Artist impression of Bearsden Burgh Hall new hub

Worries have been raised by local residents over council plans to refurbish Bearsden Burgh Hall to create a newcommunity hub.

Thomas Glen, director of development and regeneration at East Dunbartonshire Council, says the design for the £3 million project has been developed in partnership with service providers.

He also insists development chiefs have taken on board feedback from community engagement sessions and current user groups of the Burgh Hall, Kilmardinny House and Brookwood Library, as well as community councils and tenants and residents associations.

However Alan Oliver from Bearsden, who is a member of the Champions Group involved in the design process, said: “I know for a fact that most of these groups are now not supporting this application in its present form.

“It is being rushed for no reason and the community are again being given no time to react.”

The new halls will have a reduced facility - from 250 to 199 - so groups have suggested a balcony/roof terrace could be used for further seating.

They are also worried that events will be more difficult to set up because the function room can only be accessed by stairs or lift.

There are further issues with the location of the kitchen and the lack of a bar or a place to store tables and chairs.

Mr Glen said: “The current design featured at the third community engagement session in August where there was a generally positive response.

“We listened carefully to the feedback from the local community, including the Champions Group, which we met in August just in advance of the planning submission, and this played an important part in informing the planning application. The hub brings together a range of council, library, leisure and cultural services under one roof, will also contain new public meeting rooms and social work facilities, new public toilets as well as an entire upgrade of the current accommodation.”