Cumbernauld Morrisons store plans backed

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 13:30 on 19 May 2014.
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Artist's representation of the new store. Copyright: Morrisons.

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COUNCILLORS have today (19th May) backed a new Morrisons store for Cumbernauld, in principle - despite planners recommending that the firm's application be rejected.

A special planning hearing meeting was called this morning, which will be followed by a meeting of the full council later today, where the decision of the planning hearing committee will merely be ratified by all elected members of the authority.

The approval now paves the way for a brand new Morrisons to open in the Westfield area of Cumbernauld, adjacent to St. Maurice’s High School, in years to come – although a full planning application will have to be lodged and backed for the plans to go ahead.

Morrisons confirmed on August 16th, 2012, that they wanted to open a brand new store in Cumbernauld, and announced two consultation events at Broadwood Stadium - one on 18 September and a second on 19 September, 2012.

Members of the public were said to be very supportive of the store chain’s plans; and, on May 18th, 2013, the firm’s principle planning application was received by North Lanarkshire Council. At the time, a target determination date was the project was set at September 21st, 2013, although the scale of the development has forced the application to slow down. 

In the last few weeks however, North Lanarkshire Council confirmed that the firm’s in principle planning application were to go before the Planning Hearings committee today (May 19th), with a report to the committee recommending that members reject the application on the grounds that it’s out-of-centre.

Justifying the recommendation, the report explains how, “The proposed retail and mixed use developments are not considered acceptable in terms of the principles of the approved Glasgow and the Clyde Valley Strategic Development Plan 2012 or the criteria set out in the relevant policies of the adopted North Lanarkshire Local Plan 2012.  The proposed food store and other mixed use options are of a scale that undermines planning policies directing such development to the Network of Centres and is likely to adversely affect the vitality and viability of the Network of Centres identified for protection under policy RTC1.”

Members of the committee voted against the rejection meaning that councillors back the proposals for a 58,697 sq. ft Morrisons store; a 6 pump Petrol Filling Station; a drive thru and a bar and/or restaurant, in principle. 

Although, as we reported last Friday (16 May), the development was likely to be given backing for “political reasons”, mainly due to estimates that such a new store alone would create between some 300 and 400 new jobs for the town and revitalise the Westfield area of Cumbernauld.
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