Plans to create a new supermarket in Bishopbriggs could be the catalyst for significant town centre improvements, according to a community councillor.
Morrisons has announced outline proposals to create a new facility on part of the old Bishopbriggs High School site and an area to the north of railway line, bounded by South Crosshill Road and Kirkintilloch Road.
The existing store will be demolished to create a new supermarket, petrol station and residential development.
Although details are still to emerge, the project has been broadly welcomed by community representatives, who are keen to be involved in the 12-week consultation process.
Plans for the store will be revealed at an exhibition in the War Memorial Hall, Balmuidy Road, on Tuesday, June 19, from 3-7pm, when the public can talk to the design team.
Local MP Jo Swinson said: “This vital site at the heart of Bishopbriggs has been a derelict eyesore for far too long, so I am relieved that we are starting to see some progress that could result in a revitalised town centre.
“When I met with Morrisons officials earlier this year, I stressed the importance of proper and direct engagement with the community, who have been kept in the dark for years about progress on this site. To be meaningful, Morrisons must be prepared to listen to the views of the community and amend plans accordingly.”
Dominic Notarangelo, chairman of Bishopbriggs Community council, is supportive of plans to improve a neglected, but prominent, part of the town.
He said: “We have always been supportive of plans to improve the town centre and have fully participated in discussions in the past through the community council’s Town Team.
“All we have ever wanted is a solution that is acceptable to residents and we have always been supportive of plans that will improve this site.
“This development has the potential to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help shape the character of Bishopbriggs for a generation, possibly two.
“We would encourage as many people as possible to take part in the consultation on June 19.”
Michael Lambert, Morrisons’ senior asset manager, said: “This will be a bigger and better store than the current Morrisons in Bishopbriggs. We have taken a fresh look at the site and we are proposing a new store design with services that we hope customers will enjoy. We are keen to listen to what the local community has to say about the plans.”
The firm, which gained planning permission for a new store in 2013, intends to submit a fresh planning application with revised proposals this summer. If permission is granted, the new store could open in 2020.
Councillor Billy Hendry, East Dunbartonshire Council’s convener of place, neighbourhood and corporate assets, said: “The development of the former Bishopbriggs High School site has been a long-running aspiration and I will be very interested to see the detailed plans. I welcome the commitment from Morrisons to engage with the community on the proposals as they take shape and very much hope that any future development of the site leads to significant investment and the creation of jobs in Bishopbriggs.
“The council is committed to supporting our town centres, including Bishopbriggs, and is developing long-term strategies for each, including actions for future improvements.”