Jun 23 2011 by Chris Clements, Hamilton Advertiser
PLANS to build a new supermarket and petrol station at the rundown Hillhouse shopping precinct in Hamilton were approved this week.
Planners hope that the development will be the cornerstone of a planned expansion and improvement of the Hillhouse Neighbourhood Centre.
On Tuesday, a South Lanarkshire Council planning committee granted permission in principle to develop former industrial ground at the corner of Hillhouse Road and Hill Street, as well as part of Argyle Crescent.
Plans lodged by developers Macdonald Estates will see the construction of a food superstore and adjoining petrol station.
Improvements will also be made to the adjoining shopping mall.
As part of their supporting information, the applicants have confirmed that the supermarket is likely to be run by one of the UK’s ‘big four’ operators – Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.
However, the proposals for the three-hectare site do not include the nearby former pub, the Hillhouse Inn, or the former bookmakers.
Part of the proposed development will also be on the site of the former Scottish Milk Dairies, in Argyle Crescent.
Proposals for the site include:
l A new 4366 sqm foodstore on the site of the former dairy.
l A petrol station and car wash.
l A car park with spaces for 326 vehicles.
l External refurbishment of the six smaller stores within the centre.
l Demolition of the existing larger store and creation of a replacement four-unit retail parade.
At the planning committee this week, councillors were told that the applicants undertook pre-application consultation to comply with the terms of the new Planning Act. This included a public exhibition in St Ninian's Church Hall in August last year, which was attended by more than 80 people from the Hillhouse area.
Members heard that feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive.
A number of conditions have been attached to planning permission being granted.
Further applications regarding issues such as the roads and paths layout of the site, drainage and sewage disposal, means of access and the design and location of all retaining walls must be approved.
Councillor Graham Scott, chair of the planning committee, said: “The new local plan has earmarked this site as one ripe for investment and refurbishment, improving the retail choice and provision for the local area.
“It's great news for this committee, the council and the wider Hamilton community that firm plans have now been brought forward to enable just such a transformation to take place.”