Lack of land puts Castlemilk supermarket plans on hold

Lack of land puts Castlemilk supermarket plans on hold

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PLANS to build a supermarket in Castlemilk have been shelved because ‘all available land’ has been designated for housing.

A search of possible sites to build on has returned a disappointing result for campaigners.

The findings have been slammed by local councillors who have claimed people are being sold houses ‘under false pretences’.

Read more: 'We need Aldi or Lidl': Castlemilk shopping centre 'not fit for purpose' as group fights for supermarket

Plans to redevelop the struggling Braes shopping centre have also fallen through despite support from politicians and residents.

As previously reported by the Evening Times, Glasgow City Council has been tasked with finding an appropriate site, with car parking facilities, for a food retailer to move in.

A study of maps and possible sites in the area has revealed that all available land has been already been designated for housing.

The campaign to bring a supermarket to the area has been spearheaded by the Castlemilk Community and Business Association, who previously held talks with the council and asset management group, Paradigm,

Paradigm had discussed developing the Braes into a popular shopping destination, in line with the likes of the Glasgow Fort.

Read more: 'We need Aldi or Lidl': Castlemilk shopping centre 'not fit for purpose' as group fights for supermarket

Councillor Margaret Morgan said companies are “flogging” houses to people who do not realise there is no facilities.

She added: “You’re saying ‘welcome to Castlemilk’ under these false pretences.”

Cllr Malcolm Cunning, has also raised concerns over residents, especially elderly and disabled, being unable to access fresh produce.

He said: “I think paradigm pulling out is extremely concerning. Paradigm is a company that actually saw an opportunity in Castlemilk.

“In the meeting we had back in October, they indicated the sort of future that might involve virtually demolishing a 1960s form of shopping that people aren’t interested in anymore.

Read more: 'We need Aldi or Lidl': Castlemilk shopping centre 'not fit for purpose' as group fights for supermarket

“Our biggest hurdle is attracting the likes of Lidl and Aldi in.

“Half of the units inside the Braes are empty and quite a number will be leaving when their lease is up.

“There’s no reason to go in there right now. You can’t get a cup of coffee. You can’t get loads of basics.

“The only people using Castlemilk shopping centre is often people with mobility issues who can’t get to Asda in Toryglen or Tesco in Dalmarnock.”

Ann Marie Docherty, from Fair Deal Glasgow, added: “What troubles me is that you’ve got the bookies, the pub, all these fast-food shops and then Brighthouse.

“People aren’t getting fresh produce, they aren’t getting the opportunity to eat properly.

Read more: 'We need Aldi or Lidl': Castlemilk shopping centre 'not fit for purpose' as group fights for supermarket

“It’s a huge hill to climb to try to encourage people that the health and wellbeing of Castlemilk residents is at risk if they don’t get a proper shopping centre.

“We used to have local shops in every area.”

Read more: 'We need Aldi or Lidl': Castlemilk shopping centre 'not fit for purpose' as group fights for supermarket

Maureen Cope MBE, chairperson of CCBA, said the group are not giving up their fight to bring a food retailer to the area.

She said: "We're not giving up no matter what the council say. The land that has been designated for social and private housing would not be suitable for the likes of Lidl or Aldi anyway.

"We were looking to upgrade the Braes by attracting more businesses or to even build a supermarket in there.

"The existing shops already employ a number of people from the area so shouldn't be criticised. Everyone is trying their best.

"We're still working to bring a retailer in and won't be giving up anytime soon."