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Ravenscraig New Town On Hold
A source close to the project confirmed that planners are going back to the drawing board and proposals, which can still be viewed online, are “on hold” indefinitely.
More than £200million has already been invested in the area, resulting in the creation of a state-of-the-art campus for New College Lanarkshire, a new regional sports facility, 330 homes sold and a £2.9million pub and restaurant built by brewers Marston’s.
When completed the new town would also have boasted 84,000 square metres of retail and leisure space.
But joint venture company Ravenscraig Ltd - a partnership between Wilson Bowden Ltd, Tata Steel and Scottish Enterprise - which is overseeing the masterplan, has announced it is to “revise” the proposals.
Construction operations director Nick Davies said: “We believe this is the right time to bring forward a revised plan which can continue the regeneration of Ravenscraig and bring forward further developments quickly and in line with market demand.
“The original masterplan was created 15 years ago when the world was a very different place. Legal action held up progress for five years before the House of Lords gave final approval and this was, of course, followed by the global recession.
“Since then, the retail market has been transformed due to the growth of online shopping and changing consumer demands. It’s these kind of changes that the revised masterplan will seek to take into account.”
The director will now get around the table with politicians and officials at North Lanarkshire Council, who have already indicated that they support the decision to go back to the drawing board.
Councillor David Fagan, convener of regeneration and infrastructure at the local authority, said: “It’s important that the plans for Ravenscraig take into account changes in the way people engage with the retail market. If this wasn’t done then future development would be at risk of failure and clearly that is not something the council would wish to see.
“We’re determined to work with all the partners concerned to expand on the good work that has already been carried out and we look forward to seeing detailed plans for the site.”