Confusion and concern over Bishopbriggs town centre plans

Bishopbriggs Town Centre. 22.12.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes
Bishopbriggs Town Centre. 22.12.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes

CAMPAIGNERS have sent up the battle flares over the future of Bishopbriggs town centre.

Residents have been left bitterly disappointed by new proposals from supermarket giant Morrisons to build a bigger store, 450-space car park and a community hub on the former Bishopbriggs High School site.

They feel a big opportunity to develop Bishopbriggs town centre is being wasted.

Now the Community Champions group – set up to allow residents and businesses to liaise with developers on the plans – has decided to put together its own vision for the town centre.

The group will be consulting with residents and appointing architects to draw up their very own masterplan.

Donald Macdonald, from the champions group, said: “We want to create what everyone thought we were getting to begin with – a masterplan for the town centre area.

“This is an opportunity to say there are other things we can do. It’s a chance for Bishopbriggs to stand up and say what we want.

“We are hoping Morrisons will say they can change part of what they are doing to fit in with the bigger picture and improve the space.”

The supermarket recently held a public exhibition to showcase plans, but residents say that there was little support for them.

East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson is meeting the Morrisons director in charge of the project in the New Year and has pledged to “express the community’s strong objections”.

She said: “It’s no surprise the public are angry. After months of silence and promised public consultation, Morrisons have suddenly produced a plan that is totally wrong for Bishopbriggs town centre.

“They must go back to the drawing board – but this time involve the community.”

A spokesperson for Morrisons said: “Two hundred people visited the exhibition. A number of comments were made which we will review before working on the next steps in the New Year.”

Bishopbriggs councillor Billy Hendry has spoken out against Morrisons’ plans.