Battle of the malls

THE owners of ­Silverburn shopping centre are involved in a "race" against Braehead to expand, it was claimed today.

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Rashid Hussain welcomed an Xscape-style addition
Rashid Hussain welcomed an Xscape-style addition

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."

peter.swindon@eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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