Plans to transform East Kilbride town centre given green light

The proposals include demolishing over a third of the town to make way for a new neighbourhood and upgrades to Stewartfield Way.

East Kilbride is to undergo a £62.2m transformation after proposals were given the final green light.

South Lanarkshire Council has approved a ten-year masterplan to demolish over a third of the town centre, including the Centre West Shopping Centre, to make way for a new residential community.

A new supermarket and a hotel are also planned for the development.

Further changes will be made to the transport network, including upgrades to Stewartfield Way to help alleviate heavy traffic.

Once home to one of Scotland’s best shopping hubs, East Kilbride will now have its retail floorspace reduced by around 40% to make way for more homes and open air public spaces.

Council leader Joe Fagan told STV News: “East Kilbride has faced a huge crisis in its town centre.

“We faced a massive over expansion of retail, the decline of retail and the high streets across the country. Because of the sheer scale of East Kilbride town centre, we’ve been very exposed to the decline in retail.

“We’ve had to undertake a much bigger transformation project than you’d see in a lot of other comparable towns.

“East Kilbride is at a crossroads and we have a choice of two futures – radical change or radical decline. We have to choose radical change to set up East Kilbride for the future.”

The Stewartfield Way project will also see a number of improvements made to the road network to ease traffic congestion at both the Hairmyres and Kingsgate ends and enhance the bus infrastructure.

But not everyone approves of the plans.

South Lanarkshire Greens councillor Kirsten Robb welcomes changes to the town centre but is “concerned” over plans to upgrade Stewartfield Way.

She said: “There might be some alleviation roundabout works but when you expand roads, it just fills up with traffic. That’s not a long term solution.

“What would be better is investing in low carbon projects, improving sustainable forms of transport and provide opportunities for people who don’t have a car to get around the place easier.”

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