THE firm who were sold the former Play Drome leisure site in the centre of Clydebank for £3.9million has pulled out of plans to develop it.

West Dunbartonshire Council (WDC) agreed to sell the land to Henry Boot Developments (HBD) in December 2016.

But the council’s infrastructure, regeneration and economic development (IRED) committee heard last week that the developers will not be going ahead with any plans.

Jim McAloon, head of regeneration and economic development, told councillors: “Unfortunately, we received a communication from Henry Boot saying that, as a result of losing their two proposed lead tenants from their retail development, they were not going to go forward with the scheme.

“What we need to do as officers is look at the market, get a meeting with [property management firm] Colliers, who have advised us in the past, with the intention of bringing something back to the committee.”

Councillor Martin Rooney said: “I’m actually really disappointed to hear about the Play Drome development site not going ahead.”

When the land was sold, HBD put forward plans for seven retail units, car parking, a new public square and a pocket park on the southern side of the canal.

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Then, in December 2018, councillors heard how ideas for the site could be modified to include housing.

At the meeting last Wednesday, Cllr Rooney questioned when council officers knew about the plans falling through.

He said: “I wonder if officers could tell us when they knew about this decision because it seems very strange that it’s just been brought up at the IRED meeting today.

“They must have been notified before, and I would have expected elected members to be properly informed rather than just bringing it up at the meeting.”

Richard Cairns, the strategic director of regeneration, environment and growth, told Cllr Rooney: “I share your disappointment. The intention actually had been to issue a members briefing about this on Friday, but we’ve been working to coordinate our press release with the Henry Boot press release. The intention was to issue a members briefing today.”

Cllr Rooney then asked when the director knew about the developers pulling out and Mr Cairns replied: “I’ve known about a week”.

In a statement after the meeting, Adam Brady, director at HBD, said: “Despite our very best efforts, we have been unable to move this project forward. Conditions within the retail sector have changed considerably since the scheme was conceived, meaning that the project is no longer deliverable.

“We have parted ways with WDC on good terms and wish them well for the future as they seek to bring the site forward in a guise that best serves the needs of the community.”

The council added: “The Play Drome site remains a key component of our overall vision for the regeneration of Clydebank, providing a link between Queens Quay and the town centre.

“We will now be exploring alternative options which maximise the potential of the site to create jobs and enhance the local area and economy.”