HUSH-hush talks have been taking place with retail giant Tesco over a possible new Kirkintilloch store, it has been revealed.
Speculation has been growing that the company wants to build on land off Woodilee Road, near the new Kirkintilloch Link Road.
The council denies that the site has been discussed with Tesco, reaffirming its support for investment in the town centre.
However, at a recent meeting of Kirkintilloch Community Council, Bob Steedman – East Dunbartonshire Council’s development applications manager – told the group that Tesco HAD spoken to the authority about a new store in the area.
A community council spokesman said: “We were told that there have been discussions. The council does not know what’s being planned until they get any application.”
Residents have raised concerns that the Woodilee Road site is unsuitable for large retail and could drive businesses away from Kirkintilloch town centre.
Colin Dunlop, who lives in Loch Road, said: “Not only would it mean increased traffic for Loch Road, but potentially cause congestion problems on the new bypass – never mind taking away people from the main shopping area in Kirkintilloch town centre.
“That area does need done up. I wouldn’t mind if it was a small shop or housing or a hotel as has been suggested.
“Everyone is talking about a Tesco being built. I wish someone could confirm if this is true or not.”
A spokesperson for Tesco told the Herald: “We’re always interested in new investment opportunities and improving our service for customers.
“If we were to bring forward plans for this or any other site we would, of course, consult with the community and engage local stakeholders in the consultation process.”
The council has denied that discussions have taken place over a new store – at Woodilee Road at least.
Thomas Glen, head of development and enterprise, said: “The council has received no application, nor had pre-application discussions, with Tesco or any other supermarket operator re the site at Woodilee Road.
“The council’s existing and soon-to-be-adopted new Local Plans both support prime retail within our town centres and the Scottish Government Reporter’s recent examination of our emerging Local Plan suggested a food store development at this site would be harmful to the retail prospects of the town centre.”
Meanwhile, popular restaurant KFC has confirmed that the company has submitted plans for a site in Kirkintilloch, understood to be the former First bus depot in the town’s Milton Road.
Supermarket chain Lidl has also previously expressed interest in opening at the site.
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