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Last Updated: Friday, 2 January, 2004, 15:32 GMT
Controversy over steelworks plan
Ravenscraig site
Planners hope to build a new town on the site of the old steelworks
Plans to regenerate the site of Scotland's last steel mill are causing controversy among local residents.

Developers hope to create an entire town, including shopping centre, on the empty Ravenscraig site near Motherwell.

But independent traders fear it will destroy jobs and businesses in other parts of central Scotland.

The plans include the creation of 3,500 homes, two schools, sport centres, a shopping complex and office space for up to 12,000 workers.

Developers are also planning an indoor ski centre with real snow.

Motorway network

Jim Fitzsimons, of Wilson Bowden Developments, said: "The site is within two miles of the two major motorways in Scotland - the M8 and M74.

"It's got two-thirds of the population of Scotland within 90 minutes. It's a fantastic opportunity."

Ravenscraig was once the most important steel plant in Britain supporting 25,000 jobs.

But that all ended when the towers were demolished in 1996.

The affect of this on independent traders will be devastating
Warren Karpe
independent jeweller
In April last year, North Lanarkshire Council gave developers the go-ahead for the scheme.

But traders at a shopping centre five minutes away from the site said the development could have a disastrous affect on their businesses, and that shops across the whole of central Scotland could be seriously affected.

Independent jeweller Warren Karpe told BBC Scotland: "The effect of this on independent traders will be devastating."

If it goes ahead, the regeneration project of Ravenscraig could take between 15 and 20 years to complete.

The plans are awaiting final approval from the Scottish Executive.


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Scotland's John Morrison reports
"The scarred landscape was once the heart of industrial Scotland"



SEE ALSO:
Steelworks plan approved
10 Apr 03  |  Scotland
Steel site forges new future
27 Jun 01  |  Scotland


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