Cala: our plan will ‘maintain’ Craigton Woods

Craigton Wood
Craigton Wood

Cala Homes say it intends to build houses on less than half the land in Craigton Woods in Milngavie - if it can get planning permission.

It will also retain the current right of way path through the ancient woodland area - which is frequently used by walkers, runners and children who play there and walk to school.

The developer says it recognises how important this privately owned wood is to local people and claims its development will be as sympathetic as possible and remain ‘predominantly green’.

While the proposals are at a very early stage and are subject to change, Cala currently plans to build about 22 private detached houses and 12 to 20 affordable homes which will meet the target requirement set by the Scottish Government of 25 per cent affordable housing on the Craigton Road site.

It will submit a planning application in June this year and would like to start building next August, subject to permission being granted by East Dunbartonshire Council

Tony Rankin, land director for Cala Homes (West), said: “We believe that our plans will maintain the health of the woodland area in the long term.

“The current landowner has struggled to maintain the woods in recent years, with many trees falling down over the years due to decay, storms and vandalism.

“Cala views this as an enabling development; people will still be able to walk their dogs and enjoy the woods and we will re-plant trees to replace removed ones.

“Residents would pay a factor’s fee towards the upkeep of the woods and invasive species such as rhododendrons would be dealt with better.

“We would also repair or build a new wall on the perimeter which has fallen down in parts.

“What we are doing will bring the woodland back into community use and make it safer.”

Limited numbers of trees would be lost due to the development as Cala says it plans to work sympathetically around existing forestry where possible.

Current plans indicate that a total of 153 trees would be retained with 26 felled due to their state of decay posing a strong danger to Craigton Woods users, and nine are at risk due to their age.

However, some residents have already opposed the plans and have expressed concerns about losing the woods.

Craig Donaldson, commented on our Facebook page, said: “I hope the council listens to the people.

“Greenbelt and woodland areas are hugely important to the people of the area.

“They are what attracted them to live here in the first place.

“Constant housing schemes are eroding the place we love.

“Big housing companies, from outside the area, are the only ones who will benefit from the destruction of our land.

“No matter what spin the council will put on it, that is the truth.”

Craig D McAllister said: “Spent the majority of our childhoods there!”

Mary Donaldson said: “So much history in these places that can’t be replaced.

“Let’s hope people power wins.”

Andrew Paliwoda from Milngavie, said: “The woodlands should be protected.

“I like going for walks there.”