October 2012: Milngavie/Bearsden Town Centres E-Consultation

Thank you to everyone who took part in the survey on Bearsden and Milngavie issues. 240 people took part – making it the most popular of the local surveys I’ve conducted! I have summarised some of the main points below.

Tesco’s plans

It has been difficult to escape the fact that Tesco are intending on submitting a planning application that could significantly change the nature of the current store, not to mention the village itself. I asked respondents how they felt about this. 13% of those who responded were undecided and only 1 in 6 either ‘strongly agreed’ or ‘agreed’ with the plans.

However, more than 7 in 10 of those who took part disagreed with the plans. The main reasons given for this was that the store was too big for the area, and that it could have a detrimental impact on local traffic and roads. It was also noted that the store could take business away from the other businesses in the village. A number of people raised concerns that the current store does not do enough to keep trollies and rubbish out of the river, and a larger store would result in further such problems.

However, there were a few positive comments – some respondents felt that competition would be good for the area, and that the current store was not adequate. In relation to the potential environmental impact, several people did note that a larger store in Milngavie would mean that they no longer would need to drive to stores in other areas of Glasgow. Certainly some food for thought!

I asked about the consultation process and the results were largely balanced, with 37% of respondents feeling that they had been adequately consulted, and 36% feeling they had not (and the remainder expressing no view). Several people noted that they were given little notice of community consultation events. A number of respondents felt that, whilst the community may have been ‘consulted’, they were not listened to!

I had expected the plans to be submitted in the summer, yet we are all still waiting. I recently wrote to the company to ask what is going on.

Waitrose plans

As you may know, Waitrose recently submitted plans for a new store on part of the land at the West of Scotland Rugby Club, by the roundabout at Homebase. I also asked for residents’ views on this. Of those who responded, 58% either ‘agreed’, or ‘strongly agreed’, with the plans. 21% ‘disagreed’ or ‘strongly disagreed’ with the plans, and the remainder were undecided. The reasons for this included the fact that the store was much smaller and less intrusive that that planned by Tesco, and that the increased competition would be welcome. However, concerns were also raised about the potential impact on the busy junction, and traffic levels generally, and many people noted that there were already quite a few supermarkets within the area. 39% of respondents felt they had been adequately consulted, and 37% felt this wasn’t the case.

Certainly some very interesting points from residents. I will be passing on these results and issues raised, to ensure that they are considered.

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