Bearsden Drymen Road development concerns

The current homeless unit on Drymen Road.

The current homeless unit on Drymen Road.

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Concerns have been raised about plans to demolish a council-owned Victorian villa in Bearsden, cutting down mature trees in the process.

The six-bedroom villa in Drymen Road is currently used as temporary accommodation for homeless people.

It is situated within a conservation area surrounded with mature trees. However the council and a private developer plan to remove both the villa and trees.

The business centre, office and nursery at 50 Drymen Road would also be knocked down and a new mixed use development created with a basement car park, office space, day nursery and new temporary accommodation comprising 11 bedsits and four one bedroom flats.

Seventeen private apartments would also be built.

A Bearsden resident, who asked not to be named, said: “The council says the villa is ‘tired’ and ‘not ideal’ but the same could be said of 80 per cent of Victorian villas in the area - does that mean we should knock them all down?

“Surely we should be protecting our historic buildings and mature trees in a conservation area?

“This will be a densely populated unit with many more residents and offices - will the area be able to cope?

“The temporary accommodation will cater for double the amount that it does at the moment - yet the council insists this development is ‘like for like’.

“There will be four storeys of commericial properties and a homeless unit near a nursery – has this been properly thought out? Will offenders be housed there?

“We need to provide temporary accommodation but is this the best way to do it?”

Thomas Glen, depute chief executive East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “The proposed development is currently being assessed in advance of the application being considered at a meeting of the Planning Board.

“Any new facility will continue to provide the same type of accommodation and support to individuals experiencing homelessness, in line with the service provided at the existing facility for over 25 years.

“We would encourage those who have comments or objections to planning applications to act as quickly as possible to ensure their views are taken into account.”

Visit www.planning.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/online-applications, e-mail planning@eastdunbarton.gov.uk or call 0300 123 4510.