PLANNING: Green light from West Dunbartonshire Council to change the face of Bowling

Plans for the old Esso Bowling terminal passed by West Dunbartonshire Council.

By Bill Heaney

Controversial proposals to create a major industrial and commercial development in Bowling took another step forward this week after planning permission was granted.

The £34 million Glasgow City Region City Deal project, which will commit West Dunbartonshire Council to reclaiming the vast site,  will see the former ExxonMobil site transformed into a mixed-use development which will include storage, distribution, industrial, business and office space.

Plans detail office and industrial development located in Eastfield, business in Centrefield and storage and distribution in the Westfield areas, along the banks of the River Clyde between Bowling, Milton and Dumbarton.

In addition, the works will also include a number of road improvements connecting to the site  including the creation of a new 1.95km relief link road in West Dunbartonshire; 1.32km of upgrades to the A814; a new junction on the A82 at Dumbuck; a remodelled junction on the A82 at Dunglass; a new under bridge of the Glasgow-Dumbarton railway at the west access to the site with a new railway over bridge for eastern access; and enhanced routing of the National Cycle Network Route 7.

Plans have been approved to create a new route into Dumbarton at Dumbuck and create an industrial estate and heritage site at the old Esso Terminal in Bowling.

turn the The Council will also undertake flood mitigation works, site drainage works and landscaping as well as introducing green open space including a waterfront pedestrian and cycle path. Of the 150 acre site, only 47 acres will be developed and  the remainder used for green network and green infrastructure enhancements.

A heritage area has been identified around Dunglass Castle and a protection zone is included in the application to ensure the listed structure and its setting are not compromised as the site develops and evolves.

When complete, it is expected the project will provide up to 980 full time jobs as well as an additional 670 jobs during the construction stage.

The application was considered by members of West Dunbartonshire Council’s planning committee on Wednesday 13 January and permission was granted.

It follows agreement with ExxonMobil last October under which the site will be remediated and then transferred to the Council.

Councillor Jim Finn, Chair of the Planning Committee, pictured right, said: “This is one of the largest brownfield sites in West Dunbartonshire and along the Clyde Waterfront and these proposals offer real opportunities to transform the area and bring it back into use.

“Not only will it re-instate public access to the waterfront and create significant economic, environmental, infrastructure, recreational and place-making benefits to the site and the wider West Dunbartonshire area, it will bring much-needed full time jobs to the area.”

Councillor Diane Docherty, pictured left,  Vice Chair of the Planning Committee added: “I welcome the progression of this development, which will provide a platform for major industrial and commercial development within West Dunbartonshire, while also providing road and infrastructure improvements to relieve pressure and provide an alternative route to the A82.”

The 150-acre site is currently undergoing extensive remediation by ExxonMobil to prepare it, and the Council will start work on the land when this is complete.

The proposal for the former oil terminal and associated areas is one of 20 projects which are progressing as part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal Infrastructure Programme, being delivered over a 10 year period.

Glasgow City Region City Deal is an agreement between the UK Government, the Scottish Government and eight Local Authorities across Glasgow and the Clyde Valley.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson, pictured right,  said: “I am delighted to see that this transformative project has made such significant progress of late.

“The Scottish Government is a full partner in the Glasgow City Region City Deal, and is contributing £500 million over 20 years to the Infrastructure Investment Fund. The investment in this project through the Deal will contribute to the region’s economic growth by transforming a large brownfield site into a major industrial and commercial development.

“Across Scotland we have so far committed more than £1.9 billion over the next 10 to 20 years to City Region and Growth Deals and additional investments.”

UK Government Minister Iain Stewart said: “This is an important project that will create hundreds of new jobs for the region and help us build back better from COVID-19.

“It is just one example of how the Glasgow City Region Deal is delivering fantastic, sustainable places to live, visit and do business.

“The UK Government has pledged more than £1.5 billion for deals across Scotland to ensure every community can thrive in the years to come.”

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