Fears over town centre’s future

Bishopbriggs Town Centre
Bishopbriggs Town Centre

An SNP councillor has criticised the local authority saying it lacked coherent plans for Bishopbriggs town centre.

Councillor Anne McNair told the Herald: “In sharp contrast with progress elsewhere in East Dunbartonshire there are serious concerns about whether the council has any coherent plans for the future development of the town centre in Bishopbriggs.

“The Kirkintilloch Hub is now well-established, redevelopment and extension of the town hall in Kirkintilloch is a current major capital project and the council is progressing with ambitious plans for building a brand new hub in Lennoxtown.

“Not only have the plans for creating a hub in Bishopbriggs town centre completely stalled, but the council is now making assumptions about the future of the Memorial Hall, which must be challenged.

“In a worrying development the Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) contained in a report to the council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee shows that the council has identified the Bishopbriggs Memorial Hall site as “Vacant/derelict Land” with scope for creating one affordable house.

“This is astounding. What are we not being told?

“This is not good enough. Any plans for demolition are completely unacceptable. If the council has any intention of continuing to consider the Memorial Hall for any future housing development we need, as a matter of urgency, to know where and when we can look forward to seeing a like-for-like replacement facility.

“With plans for a Bishopbriggs Hub now in doubt, and previous losses such as the demolished games hall conveniently forgotten, East Dunbartonshire Council needs to start explaining what exactly is being planned for Bishopbriggs town centre.”

Bishopbriggs Community Council chairman Dominic Notarangelo also has concerns, and worries the proposed Morrisons supermarket may never happen.

East Dunbartonshire Council says it has reaffirmed its 10-year capital investment plan and is committed to significant investment.

Councillor Alan Moir, convener of development and regeneration, said that talks with all parties concerned needed to happen to move the Hub project to the next level, including talks with Morrisons.

“Whilst there has been communication on the clean-up of the derelict Morrisons site - which is to be welcomed - the substantive issue is clarification from Morrisons as regards its intentions.”

The Memorial hall, he stressed, would not be lost, if at all, before a replacement was found.

He said: “The convener agreed that the ‘comments’ column of the report be amended to reflect remarks relating to potential development of this site for housing - that it would be dependent on a replacement facility being put in place.

“However, it is important to bear in mind that a decision on the future of the Memorial Hall has not been confirmed. The SHIP should not be seen to prejudge the outcome of the LDP. Housing is only one possible option for the site. However, this would be dependent on an alternative facility being put in place.”