This change is a major step forward and I’m glad to see that our campaign has had some success, but I still have concerns over the remaining plans to expand an out of town retail park, which will only draw trade away from the local businesses in Milngavie Precinct and at Bearsden Cross, as well as locking in dependency on car use to do some shopping.Ross Greer MSP
In a win for local Green MSP Ross Greer, plans for a drive-thru café at the retail park on Milngavie road have been dropped.
First announced in 2021, the proposal was for a drivethru café in what is currently the car park of the retail park containing the Aldi and Home Bargains stores, as part of a redevelopment including the recently closed Arnold Clark garage on the road above. While a potential tenant hasn’t been confirmed by the developers, the drivethru was widely believed to be intended for Costa Coffee.
After the plans were lodged a number of local residents, as well as Ross Greer MSP registered their objections. These objections were primarily on the basis of concerns around the additional congestion and air pollution generated which would be generated on the already busy Milngavie Road, but also the negative impact on local businesses in Milngavie precinct.
Greer called on East Dunbartonshire Council to rule out any new drivethrus in Milngavie and Bearsden, following the lead of Green councillors in Glasgow who successfully changed the city council’s policy to one of opposition to new drivethrus. The recently published National Planning Framework for Scotland, heavily influenced by Green MSPs in the Scottish Government, also restricts new out of town retail and drivethru developments, taking a ‘town centre first’ approach instead.
Over Christmas the developers lodged an update to their plans for the Milngavie Road site, replacing the drivethru café with a regular café on another part of the site.  It is confirmed that the proposed unit would not be suitable for fast food use, and it is intended to be a café/coffee shop.
Ross Greer, local Green MSP commented:
“New drivethrus are totally incompatible with any plans to tackle the climate crisis, never mind the significant impact this one would have had on the already congested and polluted Milngavie Road. We need to be encouraging people out of their cars and focussing new developments around walking, cycling and public transport access.
“This change is a major step forward and I’m glad to see that our campaign has had some success, but I still have concerns over the remaining plans to expand an out of town retail park, which will only draw trade away from the local businesses in Milngavie Precinct and at Bearsden Cross, as well as locking in dependency on car use to do some shopping.
“And there’s still the ongoing threat of another drivethru a mile down the road in Asda’s car park. Readers can still have their say on that and sign my petition of objection at www.greens.scot/bearsdendrivethru “