Dance hall plan for derelict cafe

Plans are in place for the former cafe Ross Crescent
Plans are in place for the former cafe Ross Crescent

Plans have been drawn up to convert a derelict building in the heart of a Motherwell housing estate into a dance hall for children.

The former cafe in Ross Crescent, Greenacres, could also be used as a base for councillors’ surgeries, neighbourhood watch and other community activities.

Craig Harden, of Starstruck, says local residents have backed his proposals for the building which has been lying empty for around two years. He has lodged a planning application with North Lanarkshire Council.

It’s planned to have the centre open from 10am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am to 3pm on Saturday and Sunday.

In a written statement presented to the council, Mr Harden explained that there would be a maximum of eight hourly dance sessions each week with up to 10 children in each class.

He added: “The premises would also be for the use of the local community - low key activities such as councillor meetings, neighbourhood watch, local mums and tots, arts and crafts for children, coffee mornings for the elderly and any suitable community bookings.

“Use for councillors would be free of charge and preferential rates would be given to the local community.”

Traffic is often an issue when planning applications are being considered. Mr Harden said that with activities aimed primarily at Greenacres residents there would be no additional traffic as a result.

He pointed out that the building’s car park and a front bay can hold 16 cars in total.

Mr Harden added: “We have made contact with nearby residents and they state they are happy with our plans.

“Residents have expressed concern over the building lying derelict - they are desperate for it to be used as something positive for the community.

“The only complaint they had was when it was used as a cafe/shop as they were not happy with early morning deliveries. With this proposal there will be no deliveries of any sort so this will not be an issue.”

The applicant said residents have told him they don’t need a local shop as such an outlet couldn’t compete with nearby supermarkets.

His statement went on: “Several occupiers have tried to operate as a cafe, but all have been unsuccessful and the building is beginning to show signs of disrepair.”

The proposal is currently being advertised and will go before the council’s planning committee.