THE future of 20 jobs at a Clydebank business is to be decided by councillors for the third time in 18 months.

After a failed appeal, the Scottish Government ordered i-Play Soft Play to install a crossing at the Clydebank Business Park premises – even though the land on the opposite side of the street is owned by someone else.

Next week’s West Dunbartonshire Council planning committee can issue a “breach of condition notice” requiring i-Play to put in the crossing, which even planners have admitted can’t be done.

Owners Neil and Catrine Halls said they are living in fear for the future of the business and their 20 employees because of the threat.

And they say they were not aware of the council’s latest move or the meeting next Wednesday until the Post informed them. They have had no correspondence from the council since the government reporter’s decision on October 3.

Mr Halls said: “That’s the first I know about the meeting, which is quite disgusting.

“We were given a condition we can’t comply with – it’s impossible. I’m at a loss as to what we can actually do.”

In June 2016, West Dunbartonshire Council announced that they had “secured the future” of the facility after agreeing a deal to help move i-Play from Kilbowie Retail Park to Clydebank Business Park when the landlord wanted to expand Poundstretchers into their space. It included a condition that they install a crossing at the new site.

In March 2017, councillors overturned the advice of their planning officers and insisted the pedestrian crossing be put in place. The planning committee was told at the time i-Play didn’t own the land and 20 jobs were at stake.

Councillors in March expressed safety concerns about the site, with the only opposition to i-Play from relatives of Catrine Halls, with whom there has been a bitter dispute for years.

The owners then appealed the decision to the Scottish Government planning reporter, who rejected the appeal in June.

Since they are now technically in breach on their planning condition requirements, local politicians will now decide their fate yet again.

Mr Halls said: “It just seems completely disproportionate to the 77,000 visitors we have had through the door this year. One complaint getting in everybody’s ears is going to lose about 20 jobs.

“If the council was that worried, we never should have been allowed to open in the first place.”

Mrs Halls added: “We are trying to provide a leisure centre in Clydebank that people use. No paying customers have come through to complain. Our sales are not down.

“We are concerned we will have to close. A lot of people come by train or walk here. We are going through all this for what? Is this worth losing a good facility in the area? Is it worth losing 20 jobs?”

But Mr Halls vowed: “If they hit us with a stop notice, we will fight it every step of the way.”

A West Dunbartonshire Council spokesman said: “Following the decision by a reporter from the Scottish Government to reject the appeal, the council’s planning committee will now consider issuing a breach of condition notice requiring the applicant to comply with the condition.”

The government’s reporter, Keith Bray, said in his report pedestrians could use the existing footpath network from Kilbowie Road, but that was not sufficient for customers coming from the car park across South Avenue used as an overflow for i-Play.

Council planners said Mr Bray agreed the level of traffic didn’t require a pedestrian crossing, but considered a “modest form of crossing such as a zebra crossing or a pedestrian island would be appropriate in the circumstances”.

And Mr Bray considered it a “reasonable” condition, even though i-Play isn’t able to carry out the work.