£30m plan to boost rural area
Published Tuesday, 08 March 2011
The principle of developing a site which straddles the M74 was approved this morning by the council's Planning Committee.
Councillors gave the go-ahead to a proposal for 'permission in principle' on behalf of SRG Estates Ltd for a site totalling 230 hectares between junctions 11 and 12 of the motorway, on land at Poneil / Happendon Wood.
And the development - in one of South Lanarkshire's two Rural Investment Areas - could represent a £33million boost to the local economy with the creation of as many as 1700 jobs.
For the purposes of today's application, the site is divided into four distinct areas, three to the east, and one to the west of the M74 with the proposed detail of the development, as follows:
- Area A (61.5ha) - creation of five warehouses totalling 119,845 square metres
- Area B (85.2ha) - to contain 148.644 square metres of industrial space in a series of smaller warehouses wrapped around the Dewar's whisky facility
- Area C (38.4ha) - currently houses some forestry, a decommissioned railway and a service road for HGV traffic to existing opencast. Will be upgraded to provide full access to Area B
- Area D (41.8ha) - creation of three business units (totalling 9290 square metres) and the construction of a hotel and retail/restaurant facility.
The site has a lengthy planning history, including minerals applications on smaller parts of areas A and B, dating back to 1987.
In addition, a large part of the site already has outline planning permission, granted in 2005, for the erection of industrial, storage and distribution, specialised retail and office use, visitor facilities, associated infrastructure and landscaping.
Councillor Graham Scott, the chair of the council's Planning Committee, said: "Government guidance emphasises that the planning system has a significant role in supporting sustainable economic growth in rural areas and that developments which provide employment or community benefit should be encouraged.
"And, in many ways, this plan ticks all of the boxes, as it represents a significant application which will bring a huge boost to the local economy and much-needed jobs.
"In addition, the site is ideally located for the strategic road network and I am sure that the new proposal will complement the existing Dewars facility which has been operating with great success in this area for a number of years."
The full committee report is available online which also includes a map of the four areas.