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Supermarket set for approval in Hyndland conservation area despite 500 objections

A CONTROVERSIAL supermarket development in a conservation area of Glasgow is expected to be given the go-ahead by the local authority despite the objections of more than 500 people.

Councillors are expected to pass the plan to build the 5000 sq ft building at Novar Drive, Hyndland - part of the Glasgow West Conservation Area - at a meeting on Tuesday.

However, people living in the area have called for the scheme to be sent back to the drawing board after raising fears over the impact increased traffic will have on road safety and the effect a new supermarket will have on the surrounding area.

The building, which will be split between retail and office space, has been proposed by Root and Branch, a subsidiary of the G1 Group, which also owns pubs and nightclubs around the city.

It would be built on ground currently occupied by a disused builders yard, and councillors have been asked to grant a 'change of use' planning application to open the site up as retail space.

There is speculation that Sainsbury's will take over the site once it has been completed, although this has not been confirmed.

Local councillor Martha Wardrop, who represents the nearby Hillhead ward, said many local people would be affected if the application succeeds.

In a letter of objection, she wrote: "The proposed development will increase the traffic volume at its site within Novar Drive, which will adversely affect the amenity of the local neighbours.

"This is a cul-de-sac, within Novar Drive, well used by residents, families with young children, older and disabled residents, and visitors accessing the nearby church hall, Novar Nursery and Lauderdale Gardens play park.

"The main access route to the building is provided from Hyndland Road in to Novar Drive. The main road is already suffering from significant congestion with traffic gridlock at peak times."

Resident Oliver van Helden added: "Novar Drive forms part of the Glasgow West Conservation Area, whose rich landscape includes the diverse range of small-scale local shops, as well as a wealth of historically important listed buildings.

"In addition to the threat to these local shops in the wider area, the introduction into Novar Drive - with its residential 'side street' character, no existing retail outlets, and architecturally important B-listed tenement immediately opposite - of a glazed facade, with associated advertising and illumination of a type and scale appropriate for a 'main road' location in this area, would certainly detract from the residential nature of this Hyndland side street."

Members of the local Community Council held a meeting with the G1 group last October to raise their concerns, and met the company's planning advisor, Alistair MacDonald, a former head of planning services at Glasgow City Council.

Ann Laird, chairwoman of Dowanhill, Hyndland and Kelvinside Community Council, said: "No withdrawal of objections resulted from this meeting.

"Local residents are extremely disappointed that the application is recommended to be granted - as there are almost certainly preferable uses for this site - which I think everyone agrees is not doing much good as it is.

"This application should be refused, and the community is willing to work with G1 group to secure a mutually beneficial solution.

"In the meantime, we have requested a site visit and hearing for the case, when it comes up on Tuesday's Committee."

No-one from the G1 group was available to comment.

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