Application lodged for controversial Tesco Condorrat store

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 22:59 on 19 January 2015.
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One of the protester's signs lays on the ground after staging action on Condorrat Main Street. Picture: Condorrat Community Council.
TESCO has officially taken their plans for a new store in Cumbernauld to North Lanarkshire Council – with a planning application now in the hands of planners.

North Lanarkshire Council confirmed this evening (19th January) that a full planning application for a new Tesco Express store on Condorrat Main Road had been submitted earlier this week, and validated today. 

The confirmation comes after a spokesman for Tesco Stores Scotland told Cumbernauld Media last moment that: “Following on from a public meeting, in April, we will be proceeding with our application in the next few weeks”.

As part of the planning application, Tesco is looking for permission to change the use of part of Condorrat Social Club to a convenience store will exterior works, the creation of a ramp and disabled access, as well as the installation of a plant. 

The development would see 366 sq. metres of Condorrat Social Club become home to a brand new Tesco Express – making it the firm’s third shop in Cumbernauld – however, the mooted store has been controversial.

Condorrat’s Pollok Hall was packed out to capacity, in April 2014, as eager local residents turned out to hear more about the proposals for the store – which would take over part of Condorrat Social Club. Most residents appeared to be against the development – and a community campaign soon followed.

After members of Condorrat Social Club backed the development’s request that part of the Social Club becomes the location for the new store, by 137 votes to 34, in March 2014, local activists hit the streets in a bid to discourage Tesco from coming to the village. 

As part of the protests, Condorrat’s now famous roadside displays got caught up in the action – with signs stuck on to the various ‘Welcome to Condorrat’ structures, such as ‘Buzz off Tesco’, and ‘Don’t Bulldoze Our Community’.

Residents were therefore angry to learn in early December 2014 that Tesco Stores Limited had moved forward to pre-application stage, with an informal pre-application notice received by the council’s planning department on November 27th.

Today’s confirmation of a full planning application means that the proposals move forward, with a full public consultation set to take place shortly.

Car parking, transport and the viability of existing businesses in the area look set to be the major issues as part of the consultation process, if previous arguments are anything to go by. Tesco, however, has set out to reassure locals that the store would integrate well.

A transport statement, produced by Goodson Associates, for Tesco has attempted to put fears to ease, and concludes that: “the site is currently accessible by various transport modes and the proposed development will integrate well with the existing transport network.”

On market completion, the transport statement points out that: “The customer base for the proposed store will predominantly be trade draw from the existing Spar and Key Stores in the village centre”, adding: “The improved choice will strengthen the village retail offer which is a positive for the centre as a whole.”

A target determination date of Thursday 15 March 2015 has been set against the application.
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