Cumbernauld’s MSP urges for council caution on Tesco’s Condorrat bid

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 18:52 on 10 December 2014.
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Cumbernauld and Kilsyth SNP MSP, Jamie Hepburn.
JAMIE HEPBURN, SNP MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth has urged North Lanarkshire Council to exercise caution when looking at an upcoming planning application by Tesco Stores Ltd to set up a new store on Condorrat Main Street.

The SNP man’s words of caution come after Cumbernauld Media confirmed last Wednesday (3 December) that Tesco were taking forward their ambitions to set-up shop in Condorrat.

In our story, we confirmed that Scotland’s largest supermarket chain were planning on having a hat-trick of stores in Cumbernauld, with a planning application expected in the coming weeks.

Last week, a spokesman for the company told Cumbernauld Media that: “Following on from a public meeting, in April, we will be proceeding with our application in the next few weeks,” explaining that the application had taken some time to get to where it is, due to the extended period of community engagement. 

A spokesman for the Planning and Regeneration department explained that the proposed new Tesco Condorrat store was in the pre-application planning process, and confirmed that an informal pre-application notice had been received by the council’s planning department on November 27th.

The spokesman confirmed that the Planning and Regeneration department has until tomorrow (December 11) to respond to Tesco, and advise them on how they could potentially proceed, if they wish to. 

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth’s SNP Member of Holyrood has since waded into the debate, and has urged North Lanarkshire Council to take a cautious approach to a planning application which would bring a Tesco Express to Condorrat. 

As we reported last Wednesday, a number of locals have expressed opposition to the plans, highlighting concerns about the impact such a move would have on existing businesses. 

Actions included a protest on Condorrat Main Street in early March, and a public meeting on April 3rd, when Condorrat’s Pollok Hall was packed out to capacity, as eager local residents turned out to hear more about the proposals for the store.

The protests by the community came after members of Condorrat Social Club backed the store’s request to take over part of the Social Club, and develop it into the location for the proposed store, by 137 votes to 34.

Commenting on the matter, constituency MSP, Jamie Hepburn said: “The Council should be proceeding with caution with this application given the impact that opening a Tesco at the proposed location would inevitably have on the Condorrat Main Street.

“I know that there are strong feelings locally about this and the potential impact allowing such a move would have on Condorrat.

“Such a move could well have a negative impact on some of the existing businesses, many of which are well established and are an important part of the character of the Main Street, as well as being key local employers.

“There are also serious questions about the impact this application could have on the traffic levels locally, if it were to be granted by North Lanarkshire Council.

“The Council have a responsibility to considers all these issues when coming to their decision on this application.”
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