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4 June 2013

Commenting on Tesco’s decision to abandon expansion plans for its store in Milngavie Jo said :

“Congratulations to everyone who fought hard for this fantastic result, it is a real triumph for local community activism.

“I’m delighted that Tesco listened to the community’s concerns and made the right decision.

“Their proposed store expansion would have had a detrimental effect on the character of the Milngavie precinct and the independent shops just a short distance away.

“We now have a decision we can be happy with thanks to the hard work of local groups like We Like Milngavie, Milngavie Community Council and the hundreds of people in the community who’ve spoken out against the plans for the past 4 years.”

For more information read the Milngavie and Bearsden Herald news story:


The results are in – Tesco’s got it wrong on store plan say local residents

Jo conducted three surveys as part of her latest e-consultation and more than 240 people responded to the survey on plans for a new Tesco and Waitrose in the Milngavie and Bearsden area, making it the most popular of the three surveys conducted.

When asked if they agreed with Tesco’s plans for its store in Milngavie, more than 7 in 10 of those who took part disagreed. Concerns included that the current plan would create a store too large for the area and that it would have a detrimental impact on traffic as well as independent stores in the village. Local residents were also concerned about an increase in the amount of trolleys and rubbish that end up in the river, a problem Tesco already has problems controlling.

Those who were positive about the storefelt competition would be good for the area and that a larger store in Milngavie would mean less driving to stores in other areas of Glasgow.

Commenting, Jo Swinson said:

“A majority of residents continue to have a considerable amount of unease surrounding Tesco’s new store.

“Respondents were more favourable towards Waitrose’s plans but here still there was concern about what it would do to traffic levels and questions as to whether the area needs another supermarket.

All documents relating to both planning applications will be available on East Dunbartonshire Council’s Planning and Building Standards website at

“I have passed the results on in my comments to the Council.

Jo’s Milngavie and Bearsden development e-consultation page is available online at

Tesco’s plans are still in the pre-application stage.



In December 2008 Tesco started consulting its customers and local residents on new plans for an expanded store within the existing site.

In April 2010 their initial plans were rejected by the Council. Tesco appealed the Council decision, however in March 2011 their appeal was rejected by a Scottish Government-appointed Reporter. The supermarket then submitted notice of their plans to put in a fresh planning application and held public consultations on this second version. In June 2013 it was announced that Tesco were no longer going ahead with expansion plans for the store in Milngavie.

View Tesco’s latest information leaflet on the plans

View Tesco’s first information leaflet on the plans

View the latest version of the plan (June 2012)


Tesco consultation events – have your say! 7 to 9 June 2012

Tesco is holding public consultations at the Milngavie Community Education Centre on Thursday 7 June from 12-8pm and on Friday 8 June from 10am-6pm as well as on Saturday 9 June from 9am-12pm in the cafe at Tesco Milngavie.

I want as many local people as possible to go along and put forward their views on the new plans.

In a meeting last week with Gloria Coats from Tesco Corporate Affairs, I asked that an additional visual aspect be added to the exhibition to give more detail to the public about how the new store and Gavin’s Mill would look from the approach from Lennox Park. See further comments here.


Recent Meetings With Tesco

I met with Gloria Coats from Tesco Corporate Affairs in March and April 2012 to discuss the current state of plans for the exisiting store in Milngavie.

In March I pressed Tesco on a number of issues including what an expanded store would sell, the height of the building, and the continuing lack of a Community Champion. See further comments here

At a follow-up meeting in April I urged Tesco to ensure the public has a full understanding of exactly how the new store will look by creating a scale model or at the very least ensuring the computer generated drawings include local contextual markers such as the adjacent Gavin’s Mill. Further comments here


Mains Estate Residents’ Association (MERA) Committee Meeting - 11 January 2012

Tesco gave a pre-exhibition and pre-application consultation presentation one of several Tesco has held since they announced it was to submit a further planning application for its Milngavie store after the first was rejected by the Scottish Government Reporter early last year. The presentation was by Gloria Coates, Tesco Corporate Affairs, Andrew Perry, Architect, and Kirsty Lieper from a communications firm.

Tesco explained again why change was needed to its Milngavie store. The main part of the presentation was the providing of details and illustrations of the new, revised plans which Tesco say have addressed residents’ concerns, and those raised by the Reporter. A series of drawings and comparison overlays were presented to best illustrate the differences from the original plans


We Like Milngavie’s AGM and using consumer power to make Tesco listen

Following We Like Milngavie’s recent AGM, I praised the efforts of the community group in bringing together local opposition to the redevelopment of Tesco Milngavie. You can read what I had to say after the AGM here. There was some discussion of how local people can go about putting pressure on Tesco, and one of the options discussed was a boycott – I commented further on this here.


Heritage Group publishes its submission to the community consultation

The Milngavie Heritage Centre Group have put out for circulation their report containing their objections to the Tesco expansion. The report can be read here, and explains why Tesco’s previous planning application, driven by a scale totally disproportionate for the sensitive site, would have entailed ‘major detractions from the heritage and the public realm’ of Milngavie. The report firmly supports the scale and layout principles described in the community’s document “A Store that’s Right for Milngavie”.


Tell Tesco we need a store that’s right for Milngavie

I recently met with Tesco’s Callum Ford, Development Executive, who will be taking the decision to board level, and Corporate Affairs Manager Gloria Coats. Disappointingly, Tesco seems to be standing firm in their desire to expand the store to double its current size – which highlights the need for local people to get in touch and tell Tesco what they think of the proposals.

You can read more about my meeting and see my comments here.

It is vital that local residents use their ‘people power’ to put pressure on Tesco. Please send your views on Tesco Milngavie’s plans to and copy the email to me at Do mention if you are a customer, and whether you may be tempted to shop elsewhere if they impose a store that is wrong for Milngavie.


Test now for Tesco is listening to the community’s concerns

At the beginning of June, I met Tesco’s Corporate Affairs Manager for Scotland, Gloria Coats to ask for an assurance that Tesco would reach out and seek the views of the community. I encouraged them to hold a variety of consultation events, rather than pursuing the process in the same ‘tokenistic’ style as last time. Tesco said they would remain ‘open-minded’ to local people’s views. Read more about my meeting here.

The meeting follows my letter to Gloria on 21/04/11, which you can view here – and see Gloria’s reply here.


Community sets out ‘a store that’s right for Milngavie’

Community groups, including We Like Milngavie, have put together a list of the community’s key concerns and pointers for Tesco on how to ensure their redeveloped store is appropriate for Milngavie.

You can view the document on We Like Milngavie’s website here.

You can also read my comments here:

20/05/2011 – Community sets out a ‘store that’s right for Milngavie’


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