Independent councillor Alan O’Brien is urging North Lanarkshire Council to snap up the run-down stretch of land from St Mungo’s Walk which runs down to Tesco. This area was previously overseen by CNC Property Management which is now in administration.
Councillor O’Brien is now urging political leaders both at North Lanarkshire Council and at Holyrood to put their differences aside and to make this dream a reality.
He said: “I believe that this presents an opportunity, possibly the last opportunity, for the council to kick start the regeneration of our town centre. Having carried out some initial commercial research it appears that a significant part of our town centre could be accquired by the council at a knock down price.”
And he believes that if the private company owned by North Lanarkshire Council to oversee the town centre was willing to pay up, the problem could start to be solved.
Councillor O’Brien added: “The Campsies Board would appear to have sufficient funds to accuire these buildings with a view to a future renovation as part of a joint venture project. Instead of the current eyesore we could have a truly inspirational iconic building we could be proud of. A building that could act as a building block to attract the business partners we need to rebuild the town centre.”
The councillor said he has had an initial meeting with NLC leader Jim McCabe on this issue but stresses that Scottish Goverment support would also be needed - from rengeneration minister Nicola Sturgeon.
He added: “I have also spoken with Jamie Hepburn and briefed him on the situation as well, as I feel it’s vital that we all work together in a Labour led- Council/SNP Goverment project. I truly believe that this opportunity isn’t just the best one we have, I believe it’s the last one.”
However, North Lanarkshire Council Leader Councillor Jim McCabe said: “I have explained to Councillor O’Brien that any proposals on this scale must be discussed with fellow councillors, particularly those representing local wards, and there be consensus.
“Only then can a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon be arranged,” he added.