Tesco decision is a victory for Milngavie community – Jo

Jo Swinson, MP for East Dunbartonshire, has praised the Reporter’s decision to reject Tesco Milngavie’s expansion appeal.

Following February’s hearing and inquiry on design, retail and transport aspects of Tesco’s appeal, Trevor Croft, the Scottish Government-appointed Reporter has today sided with community representatives We Like Milngavie, Milngavie Community Council and East Dunbartonshire Council, who refused Tesco’s original application in April 2010, and put a stop to Tesco’s plans.

After hearing evidence about the development in public from Tesco and the objectors about the supermarket’s plans to build a massive two storey store and decked car park, the Reporter today made a decision. His statement highlighted the damaging visual impact the proposed store would have on the surrounding area, particularly on Woodburn Way, as well as a lack of consideration in the plans for the effect on the Gavin’s Mill conservation area.

There has been strong local opposition to Tesco’s plans from the outset, and Jo’s 2009 survey of local residents found that more than half of respondents thought the proposed new store would be unacceptably large and too high.

Commenting, Jo Swinson said:

“I am delighted that Tesco’s plans for a super-sized store in Milngavie have been rejected by the Scottish Government Reporter. From the start I have argued that Tesco needed to carefully consider the community’s concerns, but instead they dismissed them, and refused to engage constructively with local groups about how the store could be modernised without detriment to the area.

“We Like Milngavie, our Community Councillors and the Council presented a strong case at the hearing and inquiry last month, and justice has been done. The Reporter’s findings reflect the high level of local concern about the monstrous scale of the development, particularly regarding the complete domination of historic Gavin’s Mill. This decision is a real victory for the community and the unique town of Milngavie.”

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