Thumbs up for store

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Motherwell developers Chosley Limited have been granted permission to move forward with their plans to build a supermarket in Carfin.

North Lanarkshire Council’s planning and transportation committee held a site visit and hearing into the in principle application for the erection of a near 2,000 sq m store on land north west of Bell Quadrant, Carfin.

The land had initially been zoned for housing in the Finalised Draft North Lanarkshire Plan, but that has since been superseded by Southern Area Adopted Plan which saw it rezoned for a commercial development.

A retail impact assessment indicated it was ‘unlikely to have significant impact’ on existing retail within Bellshill, Motherwell and outwith town centres.

A report to the committee stated: “The redevelopment of a retail unit of an appropriate scale is not considered to be detrimental to the character and amenity of the surrounding commercial area.”

Chosley were represented at the hearing by director Jim Murray and agent Stanley Cook.

Mr Cook said: “This is the final part of a site which my client has been developing for the past four or five years. “This project is completely transforming the area and has become its new heart.”

The proposal attracted eight objection and at the hearing Bell Quadrant resident David Smith was joined by agent Brian Muir and Robin Duncan representing Robertson Homes.

Mr Smith said: “There is just no need for this store and as a parent I don’t want to have to keep my children in the house because of the increase in traffic and have to suffer additional noise at potentially all hours.”

Robertson Homes currently has an appeal lodged with the Scottish Government after their own plans to build a store on in New Stevenston were rejected by the council in July.

Mr Muir said: “The only reason our application was rejected was because of the impact of other retail, yet it’s okay in this case.

“This application should not be heard until our appeal is concluded.”

However, committee convener Jimmy Coyle set him right.

He said: “The impact on other retail was not the only consideration, in Robertson’s case the land was zoned for housing, in this it is for a commercial development.”

Councillors voted 8-2 to accept the application, however Airdrie Central councillor Jim Louge summed up their position.

He said: ”This is another example of a developer just finding a use for a piece of land.

“However, the land is zoned for commercial use so there is little else we can do.”