Site visit agreed over Viewpark Asda application

NO GO: council officials say an Asda store in Viewpark would hit Bellshill town centre
NO GO: council officials say an Asda store in Viewpark would hit Bellshill town centre

Councillors have been urged to reject plans for a new Asda store in Viewpark - because it would have an adverse effect on Bellshill town centre.The supermarket chain has lodged an application for planning permission to build the store on land at Laburnum Road and Old Edinburgh Road.

The £15 million project - which is expected to create 200 jobs in-store and a further 200 jobs during construction - went before North Lanarkshire Council’s planning and transportation committee on Wednesday.

But in their report to the committee, council officials have recommended that permission should be refused because it would be of such a scale that it would have a detrimental effect on the viability of Bellshill town centre and other centres ‘identified for protection’.

However councillors decided to continue their application for a site visit and hearing before making their final decision.

Asda is also proposing a major upgrade of the Burnhead Gala Day Park to compensate for the loss of the playing field currently on the site of the proposed supermarket.

But although the firm says the plan will be a major boost to the area’s economy, council officials say it should be knocked back on the grounds that it would have a detrimental impact on Bellshill town centre in particular and the ‘wider network’ of centres identified for protection.

Asda say the 3,990 square metre store, for which 24-hour opening is proposed, will employ up to 200 people with a further 200 jobs involved in its construction.

And because the scheme involves the loss of the football pitch which is currently used for training by St Columba’s Boys’ Club, Asda would also upgrade the Burnhead playing fields to two full size grass pitches, as well as providing a training area and upgraded changing rooms in the community centre.

But council officials estimate that Bellshill town centre would lose around 27 per cent of its trade with local businesses in Burnhead, Viewpark and Tannochside also suffering.