COUNCILLORS have given planning permission in principle for the Westway retail park to be built in Cumbernauld after hearing a late objection from Tesco.

The development, which is planned to include numerous features such as a cinema, commercial leisure facilities, a foodstore, hotel and car showroom, was discussed by members of North Lanarkshire Council’s planning committee recently.

Tesco Stores had submitted a letter calling for planning permission to be refused on the grounds of impact on existing businesses in Cumbernauld Town Centre and Craigmarloch as well as plans for the future of town centres while also claiming the plans contravened Scottish Government guidance.

Councillor Tom Johnston called for actions to be taken to protect any potential Roman artefacts in the area following the previous discovery of an ancient encampment on the site and its proximity to the Antonine Wall, which is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“I hope there will be particular (archaeological) work done in the area where the marching camp was and that it is not simply going to be covered over,” he added.

Mr Johnston was reassured that the conditions attached to the award of planning permission allowed for archaeological investigation and building would be unable to commence until the council was satisfied any potential discoveries were protected.

Councillor Allan Graham said he felt the proposals were broadly welcomed in Cumbernauld and the council’s officers had done well in responding to Tesco’s concerns, calling some of them “pretty baseless” and accused the supermarket chain of hypocrisy in speaking up because it was chiefly concerned with competition from the new development. He then moved to grant the application and the committee agreed unanimously.