Hearing for TJ House plans

Tom Johnston House
Tom Johnston House

A scheme to transform a former council headquarters into a brand new retail site is set to be thrashed out at a full planning hearing.

At a recent meeting of East Dunbartonshire Council’s planning board, councillors agreed to hold the hearing into the plans for Tom Johnston House in Kirkintilloch, which was vacated in 2012.

It will give developers Sim Property (Whitegates Ltd) - and those who oppose the scheme - time to put forward their respective arguments.

The application will then be determined at a full council meeting immediately afterwards.

The application, which was submitted to the Council in July, proposes the redevelopment of the site, and the neighbouring Whitegates Industrial Estate, for mixed use development.

The plans include a foodstore, car parking, landscaping and access, petrol filling station, a restaurant, a drive thru’ restaurant, business and general industrial development, and a day nursery

Planning board chair, Councillor Billy Hendry, said: “There are a number of reasons why it is right that this planning application is given this increased level of scrutiny, not least, because of the huge public interest it has attracted.

“The application covers a key site for the town and it is important that all parties with an interest in its future are given an opportunity to state their case to councillors.

A planning hearing will enable that to happen so that we have all the necessary material information to enable us to make a decision.”

Planning Officers have been considering the proposals over recent months and have concluded that the proposals are significantly contrary to the Development Plan.

Director of development and regeneration, Thomas Glen, explained: “Because of this, the planning application must be decided by the full council.”

He added: “In this case, because of the significant departure from policy and the fact that the council has a financial interest in the application site as well as the significant number of representations received, a planning hearing will be held ahead of the full council meeting.”

No date has yet been set for proceedings.

It will include a pre-hearing meeting to set out the terms and structure of the hearing.