East Kilbride councillor calls on precinct owners to deliver on promises

A row has broken out over an East Kilbride shopping precinct with a councillor calling for owners to “keep their promises” over its refurbishment.

Property investors, Knightsbridge, bought over the run-down Westwood Square in 2019 for an eyewatering £1m with a vow to transform the shopping area after years of neglect.

They promised to make the area look more “welcoming, clean, tidy and secure” and gave assurances that the firm would be “hands-on”.

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But East Kilbride Councillor Gerry Convery believes they have not carried out what was promised, with the car parks and road leading to the square still littered with potholes.

He also claims litter-picking and landscaping leaves a lot to be desired – although Knightsbridge deny this saying, work on these areas is ongoing.

However, Councillor Convery told Lanarkshire Live : “Not a great deal has changed despite all the promises. The car parks and road leading to the square belongs to them and it’s an absolute disgrace.

“It was bought over in 2019 and although COVID affected things, it can’t still be blamed two years down the line.

East Kilbride councillor calls on precinct owners to deliver on promises
Councillor Gerry Convery believes the owners of Westwood Square have not carried out promises made to the community

“The amount of litter in the square is still ridiculous and there is very little landscaping as far as I can tell – there are thorn bushes that would take someone’s eye out.

“The council offered to take on the contract for the litter-clearing and have our staff go in but this was knocked back.

“They made promises to the community in 2019 and as far as I am concerned they haven’t done what they said they were going to do bar painting of shop fronts and some other areas. That is admirable but, overall, the state of it is just not acceptable.

“If the centre was made to be more welcoming and presentable, the owners would also get more footfall. The square was atrocious when it belonged to the previous owners and it is not much better now.”

But a Knightsbridge spokesman said there isn’t a serious issue with litter as they employ someone to “clear litter on a daily basis” and that landscaping such a grass cutting and trimming back of planted areas had been carried out when needed.

He went on to say that certain bushes that Councillor Convery was referring to could not simply be “ripped out” as that decision was down to a number of “interested parties”.

The spokesman added: “Repairs have and continue to be carried out to the road with potholes fixed but we believe that ongoing maintenance should be shared between all those who use the square.

“The car park is not used exclusively by our tenants and businesses or the people who use them. We also do not own all the property within the square with residential properties, a pub and a supermarket.

“Talks are ongoing with a number of groups in regards to this as improvements will be needed on a ongoing basis and we feel everyone should pay their share.”

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