Braidbar Quarries: time for action

EAST Renfrewshire’s provost has declared that “enough is enough” when it comes to Braidbar quarries.

This week, East Renfrewshire councillors were informed that ground at the former sandstone quarry is “considered dangerous and liable to subside”.

Alex Mackie, a Giffnock councillor who is also a local resident, believes there is “nothing more important and the council has a moral obligation to find a solution”.

At a recent cabinet meeting council officers filed a report to elected members and are now sourcing both legal and technical advice to find a long term answer to the issues.

East Renfrewshire council believed they had found a resolution to the problem which has plagued locals for more than 30 years, when Macdonald Estates agreed to buy the land and begin a plan to build new sports facilities, and 155 homes.

However, last September, economic conditions prompted the housing company to withdraw their bid, which descended into limbo when a Scottish government-appointed reporter decided a proposal to work in partnership with a private contractor to stabilise the ground and bring it back into public use, should be removed from the local plan.

Council leader Jim Fletcher believes Braidbar Quarries “needs a long term solution”.

He said: “The decision by the reporter and subsequent withdrawal by Macdonald estates on our workable solution has put us onto the back foot.

“I hope nearby residents, and in particular the ones living in homes blighted by the quarries will be reassured that we will continue to seek a long term technical solution that brings this area back into use”.

However, councillor Mackie is concerned by the “lack of opportunities available to the council”.

“There have been no options for 30 years, why would that change now.

“The land remains a blight on 20 houses on Forres Avenue, who are stuck and unable to sell. However, any suggestion for the council to buy these houses is simply not economically feasible.

“Meanwhile there is a health and safety aspect the council is responsible for, fencing off is not a permanent solution.

“This needs to be made a priority and a matter of urgency for whoever forms the next administration