Application for Westway store development approved

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 17:50 on 3 February 2015.
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Westway Retail Park. Picture: courtesy of Bill Henry.
CUMBERNAULD'S Westway Retail Park could soon boast a brand new supermarket after North Lanarkshire Council approved a change of use application that will see two of the units in the Retail Park amalgamated.

Owners of Westway Retail Park, Cumbernauld Retail Park Ltd Partnership, submitted a planning application to North Lanarkshire Council last month; an application - which now granted - will see the empty 5b and 6 units at the Park amalgamated into one premises, before being fitted out to become a store.

A target determination date of February 2, 2015 was set against the application, but it only took until last Wednesday (28 January) for a final decision to be made and issued to Savills Planning, who compiled the planning application and submitted it to North Lanarkshire Council on behalf of the retail park’s owners.

As we have reported on previous occasions, Aldi has been looking for potential premises in Cumbernauld for some time, with their preferred location at the former ice rink, on St. Mungo’s Road not being big enough to meet their needs, meaning hopes were thwarted that the retailer might come to the town.

The announcement that the application's proposals have been permitted, late last month, paves the way for the retailer to seriously consider opening a new in branch in Cumbernauld - with the town being a preferred store site for the firm, as reported on Cumbernauld Media, last month.

Aldi's property requirements stipulate that: “We have an ambitious UK investment and development programme, which means that we are always looking for sites with a catchment population in excess of 10,000 and ideally situated on principal roads with prominent road frontage,” whilst the company will accept to purchase freehold premises in town centres or edge of centre sites suitable for development – with a minimum site size of 0.8 acres. 

At present, Westway Retail Park, on Castlecary Way, has approximately 664 parking spaces, and is home to retail outlets such as DIY chain, B&Q; electronics store, Currys; and, Halfords, though the Retail Park has been criticised for having no public transport and being in an isolated location.

In justifying their approval of the planning application for an amalgamation of units 5b and 6 as well as a 'Change of Use to Unrestricted Class 1 Retail', Head of Planning & Regeneration, Shirley Linton writes in her decision notice: "The proposal to permit the sale of convenience goods from the retail units 5b and 6 would be appropriate at this commercial centre location and is in accordance with policy RTC 1B1 North Lanarkshire Local Plan.”
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