Former council HQ “prime site” for housing, say councillors

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Affordable and social housing should be built on the Tom Johnston House site - that’s the view of two councillors.

Last week’s Herald revealed proposals for the site and adjacent land at Whitegates in Kirkintilloch include a supermarket, petrol station, nursery and drive-thru restaurant.

However, SNP councillors Gillian Renwick and David Ritchie believe the site would provide much-needed affordable and social housing.

Councillor Renwick, who represents Lenzie and Kirkintilloch South, said: “At the last count there were 3,000 people on the housing waiting list. How can we possibly hope to make a dent on that if we’re going to give up an opportunity on a site like Tom Johnston House? It’s in a prime area for more housing.

Campsie and Kirkintilloch North councillor David Ritchie is concerned about the impact on the town centre and retailers.

He said: “The council should take the views of the retailers into consideration and should engage with them first of all to see what they want in the town centre.”

However, council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “The redevelopment of Tom Johnston House site is in the very early stages and residents and local retailers will have the opportunity to submit their views on any proposals through the planning application process.

She added: “The council have to find the funding to build affordable housing or work in partnership with developers.”

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