Council to consult on new local plan

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RESIDENTS are to be consulted on East Renfrewshire council’s Local Development Plan once again — including a controversial new proposal for a mosque at Eastwood high school.

The LDP went to public consultation earlier this year, outlining ERC’s proposals for areas of development over the next few years.

It had identified potential sites for a denominational and a non-denominational primary school at Maidenhill, Newton Mearns, as well as a religious facility.

Following a full council meeting last Wednesday, ERC will now hold a six week consultation on two alternative sites; for a religious building next to the new Eastwood high, and for a denominational school at Waterfoot Road, opposite Mearns Castle high.

The consultation is scheduled for October, with a report expected in the new year.

Councillor Tony Buchanan, convener for infrastructure and sustainable growth, said: “A new denominational primary in Newton Mearns is a real priority as there is pressure on St Cadoc’s.

“An alternative site for the religious building was put forward by our Muslim community and again, the need for a place of worship is a priority.

“It is appropriate for us to consult the wider community, and important that we are inclusive and seek everyone’s views.”

As reported in last week’s Extra, Shaukat Ali, manager at the Woodfarm Educational Trust, argued: “Every faith has their own spiritual needs and the council owes it to us to facilitate plans for a mosque.”

However, some residents have complained that a religious building should not be placed on the grounds of a non-denominational school.

This week, in response to the suggestion that the mosque would replace plans for a playing field, an ERC spokeswoman said: “The planned all-weather pitch is not in any way affected. The pitch is scheduled for completion in December this year.”

nCorrection: a council meeting to discuss the proposed changes was held at ERC HQ last Wednesday. This was not a public meeting at Eastwood Park Theatre as reported last week.