DEBATE surrounds plans to convert a Johnstone tanning salon into an amusement arcade. 

The Gazette can reveal council chiefs are to consider proposals to transform Tan 2.0 in the town’s High Street. 

Should the plans be approved by Renfrewshire Council, the arcade will become the latest addition to Johnstone, joining the major development at Paton’s Mill which saw Aldi, Home Bargains, and Starbucks move in. 

READ MORE: Home Bargains becomes latest arrival at historic Renfrewshire site

Currently, no such facility exists in the town, with punters having to travel to either Paisley or intu Braehead, in Renfrew, for their nearest arcade. 

There are, however, several bookmakers in Johnstone, including Coral on High Street. 

The planning application has been submitted by Glasgow based firm Lesuretec Ltd and John Martin Architect, in Paisley, is acting as the agent. 

In documents submitted to planning chiefs, the applicant states: “The works to comprise the sub division and part change of use of tanning salon (class 2) to form amusement arcade but retain the rear outbuilding and class 2 offices. 

The Gazette: The arcade would be in the heart of Johnstone The arcade would be in the heart of Johnstone

“New toilet provision to be formed to facilitate the amusement arcade with no alterations to be carrier out to rear existing offices.”

The town seems to be divided on the plans with debate raging about the need for an amusement arcade but others preferring to see a disused unit brought back to life. 

Tom Wallace, chairman of the Johnstone Community Council, said he was “uneasy” about the proposals but would need to properly discuss them with his fellow community councillors. 

He told The Gazette: “Personally I don’t think it is a good idea and these are the sort of plans which could lead to problems.

“We have seen problems in other towns with amusement arcades and they are generally seen as a last resort.

The Gazette: Tom Wallace Tom Wallace

“I am uneasy about the plans. Amusement arcades are great by the seaside but in the middle of a small town I am not so sure.

“Obviously the opening hours come into play and during the day an amusement arcade could attract schoolkids bunking off school.

“People may have their concerns about empty units, but empty units don’t bring social problems. Arcades have been known to.

The Gazette: Proposed plans submitted to Renfrewshire Council Proposed plans submitted to Renfrewshire Council

“But, we will discuss it as a community council and get more of an idea of the feeling towards the plans.” 

READ MORE: Johnstone’s new retail park is open for business

The proposals are set to be considered by council chiefs and a decision is expected to be taken in August following a full consultation process with local residents. 

The Gazette made attempts to contact the applicant. 

Visit Renfrewshire Council’s planning website and use the code 19/0389/PP to see the full plans. 

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