Concern over council’s plans

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RESIDENTS gathered at Mearns library on Tuesday to find out more about plans for future development in East Renfrewshire.

It was one of a number of information sessions in the run up to the end of the local development plan consultation on May 1.

Among the fears expressed by worried residents were a shortage of school spaces, a decline in house prices, a deteriorating road network and a loss of community identity.

Newton Mearns community council spokesman James Sandeman told The Extra: “Between 150 and 200 people were in attendance. I feel sorry for the planners but they were unable to answer many of their questions as they can’t go near policy.

“They have a technical job to do but have been sent up to defend a plan which the community is appalled with.

“There are already concerns that there is far too much building now, never mind in the future. Newton Mearns is a dormitory town: people live here and work away.

“We are already struggling with our roads and schools.

“We are organising a public meeting next month which will be full of questions — there may not be adequate answers.”

He added: “Policy makers are never seen and never heard. It’s time they came out of the woodwork.”

NMCC’s public meeting will take place at Mearns Castle high school on Wednesday, April 17 at 7.30pm. Tickets can be obtained by email through newtonmearnsccsecretary@gmail.com.

Meanwhile, west Scotland MSP Jackson Carlaw has criticised East Renfrewshire council’s proposed housing development on the greenbelt land situated behind Broom Crescent and Heather Avenue.

The area has been earmarked for a 45-home development as part of the LDP.

Mr Carlaw said: “One of the many inconvenient truths for ERC is they’re selling an over development agenda and the public aren’t buying.

“The local development plan calls for only a 1.5 per cent reduction in green belt space for the construction of an extra 4,100 homes.”

He continued: “The Cross Stobs area is a well-loved community green space. Its proposed development is overwhelmingly unpopular with local residents.

“A public consultation actually means listening to the public. I implore ERC to take seriously the views being expressed.”