East Dunbartonshire Council is facing a rough ride from constituents over its plans for the green belt in Bearsden and Milngavie.
The council is currently drawing up Local Development Plan 2, the document which will govern planning priorities for five years after it is adopted. The outlined proposals have already attracted a number of complaints during the initial public consultation period.
Josie Beeley of Mosshead Residents Association, said: “Although this is only the first stage, surveyors are already at work on the land currently leased to Craigdhu farm. This is currently green belt land between Mosshead to the south and Mains Estate to the North. Obviously developers will be wanting EDC to redesignate it as brown land in he next Land Development Policy.
“At a workshop held on Thursday, January 17, in Milngavie Town Hall, almost 200 residents registered and voted unanimously that any application by a developer to build on this land must be rejected.
“The main concerns were overdevelopment of the area, increased traffic congestion, which is already nearing gridlock, atmospheric pollution, loss of green space and effect on wildlife, schools are full and healthcare is at capacity.”
One of those attending the meeting, Bearsden resident Douglas Anderson said: “Press uninvited and admission by registration only – and what a waste of time the meeting arranged by our council’s planning department last Thursday in Milngavie Town Hall.
“In spite of the attendees’ unanimous rejection of proposed development, little, if any, reassurances were given to the many concerns expressed in regard to, inter alia: the council’s continuing over-development of our green field sites; increased traffic congestion; already over-subscribed schools and medical practices. Hopefully common sense and local opinion will prevail.”
Thomas Glen, the council’s depute chief executive for Place, Neighbourhood and Corporate Assets, said: “In line with the requirements of government the council is currently carrying out early engagement to identify key priorities for
Local Development Plan 2. “Residents are encouraged to submit their views in a questionnaire which is available online and in libraries.
“In addition, the council is required to carry out a ‘Call for Sites’, which is asking communities and developers to provide information about areas which they would wish to see considered for potential development.
“Communities could have ideas about using a piece of land for a wide range of uses, including affordable housing or community facilities. Developers may wish to submit potential sites for consideration for housing development.
“At the same time, the council has started gathering evidence upon which to base the LDP2.
“This includes this ongoing engagement process and carrying out research and analysing data to understand what type of development is required – housing, retail, business or community facilities – and the best locations with regards to proximity to services and public transport whether the land is brownfield and environmental considerations such as flood risk.
“From this, the council will produce a Main Issues Report, which sets out the issues and various options to address them and a broad consultation will be carried out on this report in late 2019.
“Following this, the council will set out its final view in a Proposed LDP which will again be consulted on and responses will be sent to the Scottish Government for examination.
“Therefore, the final content of LDP2 will not be known until 2022 following the government’s decision.
“At this stage, no decisions have been made on how much development is needed or where it will go, but we welcome views from all interested parties.”