THE owners of Silverburn shopping centre are involved in a "race" against Braehead to expand, it was claimed today.
The Evening Times can reveal an application to build an "Xscape-style" centre on the opposite side of the M77 motorway was submitted to Glasgow City Council yesterday.
Silverburn has already secured permission for a £20m leisure extension which will see a cinema, nine restaurants and a new bingo hall built.
The additional application comes as Renfrewshire councillors rubber stamped plans to challenge a Scottish Government's decision to deny Braehead town centre status in the council's local development plan.
Braehead bosses claim town centre status is "crucial" to smooth the way for a £200m extension which could create 5000 jobs.
Silverburn already has town centre status and the application to Glasgow City Council to expand to a site on the far side of the M77 is expected to be met with little opposition.
Councillor Rashid Hussain, who represents Greater Pollok, said: "Braehead is inherently Silverburn's enemy. There is huge competition between the shopping centres.
"I'm obviously very supportive of the Silverburn expansion because I would like jobs and prosperity for the people of Pollok. I think an Xscape-style adventure and leisure centre will be great for the area."
The site, which sits behind the state-owned National Saving and Investments (NS&I) building, is bordered by Boydstone Road and the M77.
Access to the new facility will be from both Boydstone Road and from a roundabout at Silverburn's car parks which leads to a route under the motorway.
A source close to Silverburn developers Retail Property Holdings Ltd told The Evening Times: "We're in a race against Braehead to expand but for us it's about improving town centres and any investment should be directed there - that's why Braehead wants to achieve town centre status.
"Our development will enhance Pollok town centre and, crucially, it won't affect Glasgow city centre.
"The assessment we have done shows that if no additional application is submitted for Silverburn there will be a major impact from any expansion of Braehead."
This week Renfrewshire's councillors launched a legal challenge to a Scottish Government Reporter's ruling that Braehead should not be granted coveted town centre status.
Councillor Terry Kelly, Convener of the Planning and Property Policy Board, said: "Our proposal remains that Braehead should be one of Renfrewshire's 'strategic town centres'."
Braehead spokesman Peter Beagley said the Reporter had "chosen to ignore the democratic decision of the local authority".
He added: "Town centre status is crucial to be able to deliver 5000 new jobs through £200m of private investment at Braehead."
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "The reporters found that the Braehead centre does not have the mix of uses and attributes ascribed to a town centre by Scottish Planning Policy."
A spokesman for Silverburn declined to reveal details of a planned expansion across the motorway.
He said: "We are currently working on our longer term vision for Silverburn and will be able to provide an update in the coming weeks."