SPARKS flew at the most recent East Renfrewshire council meeting over the sale of land in Waterfoot Park.
The Labour/SNP administration has approved plans to sell land, including the children’s play area, to developer CALA as part of a 29-home development on the outskirts of Waterfoot.
Conservative councillors and residents have voiced opposition to the move, and a petition – with 824 names to date – has been handed in against the proposal.
Tory councillor Stewart Miller has also fronted a ministerial call, asking for the decision to go to the Scottish government.
Despite this, a full council vote at Thursday’s meeting provided a majority vote of 13 to 7 in favour of selling Waterfoot Park to CALA Homes.
East Renfrewshire resident Harry Stewart – who fronts the campaign against another controversial planning issue, the LRV incinerator – attended the meeting and is against the land sale.
He told The Extra: “The right thing to do would be to let the Scottish government decide.
“The meeting was busy, with lots of people objecting to it – but the council just seem to ignore them”.
Mr Stewart agreed that there is a need for housing to be built, but added: “We have tons of space to build on without them doing what they’re doing.
“There are brown spaces which could be used, but the answer we’ve received from the council is that it’s not what the builders want. Surely it’s up to the council to dictate to the builders, and not the other way around”?
On September 13, The Extra reported that ERC had attempted to placate objectors by negotiating a larger space of land to replace the original play park.
This week, council leader Jim Fletcher commented: “There was no new material introduced at the meeting from the cabinet — it was an opportunity for the opposition to play to the gallery.
“Cabinet considered all the options and felt it was the right deal for council and residents, and the decision was confirmed”.
He continued: “We listened to what people said through the petition and are getting a much bigger play area – the genuine concern about the amount of space children have to play on has been dealt with.
“There is an element of people who just don’t want new housing and don’t want the development, and they’re hiding behind the play park issue”.