10 June 2013
Evening Times (p.19)

Campaigners have slammed plans to open a supermarket amid fears it will threaten nearby businesses.

Tesco has applied for permission to build a store on the ground floor of a development at a former filling station site at the corner of Great Western Road and Montague Street.

It is currently being transformed into 45 flats with two retail units by Creme Developments.

Ellie Harrison, 34, an artist and lecturer who lives in the area, wants to halt the shop, which would be Tesco’s 38th in the Glasgow area.

She has set up a campaign group that now has more than 90 members.

Ms Harrison said: “I saw the flats being built and thought, ‘there’s obviously going to be a retail unit on the bottom, what would be the worst possible thing that could happen?’

“I thought, ‘Tesco’.”

After contacting the city council to ask about the plans, Ms Harrison received no reply until after the deadline for comments had passed.

“I kept chasing them, and more than a month later somebody finally replied and said it was Tesco, as if it was a done deal,” said Ms Harrison.

A spokesman from Glasgow City Council said: “There was a delay in replying to the initial inquiry and an apology was given.

“However, we do not feel this delay affected the ability to object to Tesco’s planning application.

“These applications were for frontage alterations, not the two retail units under construction.”

Mark Brice, owner of the Atlantis Laundrette in nearby Park Road, said: “Tesco is everywhere. The company has done this all over the country, destroying the high street.”

A meeting to discuss the anti-Tesco campaign will take place on June 16 at 3pm in Lansdowne Parish Church.

Earlier this month Tesco announced it had halted plans for further development of a superstore in Milngavie, opting instead to upgrade its store at Gavin’s Mill.

A Tesco spokesman said: “Our new store in Great Western Road will be bringing back to life a vacant site. We look forward to bringing it there.”

The project previously created controversy in 2011, when residents criticised the plan to build flats on the site.

Hannah Rodger