£20m vision for south side bus depot

A £20m retail and cinema development will create 400 new jobs in one of Scotland's most deprived areas while safeguarding hundreds of others.

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A planning notice has been submitted for a mixed development at the former First Bus Larkfield depot in Govanhill in the south side of Glasgow.

The plans include a 6000sq-ft superstore and petrol station with the rest of the site used for a cinema, offices, care home or community facilities.

A number of supermarkets are understood to be interested in the Govanhill site, which is being developed by First Group and Park Lane Land Ltd.

The notice can be lodged for 12 weeks to allow for public consultation before a formal planning application is lodged with Glasgow City Council.

Original proposals for the Larkfield site, at the junction of Victoria Road and Butterbiggins Road, centred on new housing but were shelved amid the economic downturn.

A planning application was lodged last year for a 10,000 sq ft superstore but this has now been scaled down to incorporate other elements and it will now occupy two-thirds of the site.

A new £25m modernised bus depot, maintenance centre and administrative HQ is being created by First on Cathcart Road. Plans for the new depot, and the future of around 600 First Group jobs, were dependant on the sale of the Govanhill site.

Brian Clarke, managing director of Park Lane Land Ltd, said: "We do feel that it is a very good development for the area.

"We have taken account of feedback from the public and we are reducing the size of the store which leaves an area of the site free.

"We are keeping an open mind about what it could be used for but have already been approached by a cinema group."

A spokesman for First said it will deliver improved public transport services for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "A proposal of application notice has been posted for a proposed development at the bus garage site in Butterbiggins Road.

"The proposal is for a superstore, petrol filling station, car-wash, offices, care home, community facilities, cinema and access."

Last year, efforts to improve Govanhill included the setting up of an enforcement squad to root out slum landlords in the area, backed by £300,000 government funding.

The team will be made up of council staff, police and fire officers with the funding to last for two years.

A public exhibition on the new development will be at the Govanhill Neighbourhood Centre on Daisy Street on August 23 from 11am-7pm.

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