Cumbernauld shopping centre has told councillors to vote against the retail park which is set to bring names like Aldi and Simply Food to Broadwood.
The extraordinary intervention has been made in a last ditch bit to prevent the proposal being given the green light at a meeting in North Lanarkshire Council on Thursday, July 21.
Belgate Estates has also called on the council to support the existing town centre ‘‘create a sense of community” and help fill empty units’’ instead of paving the way for an out-of-town retail park.
And in the most dramatic twist of all, the company insists that it still intends to open a cinema and leisure complex in the centre – and that the retail park could ruin its chances of success.
Stuart Wilson of Belgate said: “If this application is approved it will be a devastating blow to for a town centre already under significant pressure.
“This application was already was originally for a supermarket that would serve the local community in that part of town.
“What is now proposed is a much more varied-and destination-led proposal that would be a threat to the existing town centre
“The apparent public enthusiasm for this project should not mask the fact that far from creating jobs and shopping opportunities, approval of these plans will destroy the town centre along with the businesses that have stood with the town in good times and bad.
Mr Wilson also insists that investment in the existing centre has been ‘significant’ since Belgate took over two years ago.
He added: “We have earmarked a significant seven-figure sum to take forward the retail and leisure-led development which will transform Cumbernauld’s shopping centres and create many hundred of jobs.
“The prospect of Broadwood happening will make it extremely difficult to take these plans forward.”
Meanwhile Zoe Perreur-Lloyd who is senior asset manager of Antonine Centre owners London & Regional added: “The Westfield application is unfortunate as the town centre is showing very promising signs of regeneration. Many landlords, tenants and other businesses we’ve spoken to are very concerned at this application.
Tenant Glenn McNay of Cafe Alba added: “Cumbernauld does not need another shopping area when there are plenty of potential sites for business in the town centre.”
But Bryan Wilson who is director of the Broadwood project said: “We see our development as a neighbourhood centre which will act as a focus for the local community on the Broadwood side of the M80 and give them major retailers on our doorstep.
“We wish the town centre well with their plans for their cinema and leisure facilities but we are not proposing that type of development.
“Instead, we’re simply providing an opportunity for Cumbernauld to attract retailers who are keen to take advantage of the trading environment we’ll provide on our site.”