Go-ahead for new greenbelt homes

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Controversial plans for new housing on greenbelt land in Bearsden have been given the go-ahead, despite massive local opposition.

This means developers could soon be building on fields near Kessington Farm, on the eastern edge of the town.

East Dunbartonshire Council received more than 40 individual letters of representation from local residents and the community council, and a petition of objection signed by 69 people.

The application was considered by members of the planning committee on Tuesday night.

The application for the nearly 12-acre site was submitted on behalf of Mansell Homes in Perth, who had asked for permission to build 79 houses, 59 of them private and the remainder as affordable housing.

The application was considered to be contrary to the current local plan, but other plans could make a relaxation of the rules justifiable, councillors heard, including a lack of new homes being built in the area. The area has been earmarked for housing in a review of the local plan.

Local objections included the loss of greenbelt and whether this was the right site to solve the housing requirements to the area.

There were also concerns raised regarding additional pressure on roads, that too many houses were being built on the site, that there was a risk to the flood plain and the impact on bats and other natural heritage.

The plan was approved with special conditions , including safeguards re the environment and improvements to the route to to the bus stop and local shops.

Speaking after councillors voted by 12 votes to 10 to back the development, Thomas Glen, director of development and regeneration, said: “The Planning Board considered an application for residential development with associated access, landscaping and services on a site adjacent to Inveroran Drive, Bearsden, at its meeting on Tuesday, June 23.

“Members decided to grant permission, subject to conditions and a legal agreement requiring 25 per cent of the total number of homes on site be affordable. In addition, the proposed development seeks to enhance the ecological assets of the site - including the creation of new woodland areas and upgrade of public pathway.”