DCSIMG

Villagers say no to greenbelt build

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The road to Eaglesham.

On November 8, The Extra reported that CALA Homes – the group responsible for a 29-home plan in Waterfoot – had submitted an application for Humbie Road, on the north-west corner of the village.

The proposal for 36 houses and 12 flats was opposed by East Renfrewshire MP Jim Murphy and Eastwood MSP Ken Macintosh, as well as campaign group Save East Renfrewshire Green Belt.

On Thursday, an estimated 290 people gathered at a public meeting in order to object, stating problems with the loss of greenbelt land and detrimental effect on the landscape, as well as increased demand on facilities like the Eaglesham sewage plant.

Campaigner Stuart Thompson told The Extra: “A housing developer has months or years to build a case, and they can have as many meetings as they want — we only have 21 days to object, so the odds are heavily stacked against us.

“As a small action group based around Bonnyton Drive (which backs on to the site), we’ve come together very quickly and put posters up, leafleted as much as we can and pulled a meeting together at short notice”.

In attendance at the meeting were Gillian McCarney, East Renfrewshire council’s planning and building standards manager, who gave an overview of the planning process, as well as Bill Duguid, chair of Eaglesham and Waterfoot community council, which has stated its objection to the plan.

According to the campaign group, a chair was left open for a representative of CALA Homes – but no one came forward to claim it.

When asked yesterday, a spokeswoman for CALA Homes said the group were unaware of the meeting.

However she did state: “It is our intention to fully engage with the community as part of the planning process”.

Stuart added: “The purpose of the meeting was to inform, campaign and empower — we want people to have their own say and don’t want to preach to them.

“We simply laid out the key future timeline, the major date being for objections, which have to be in by November 30”.

When announced, a council spokeswoman confirmed to The Extra that the application was not part of the local plan, and was “at the very early stages of processing”.

After the objection window closes, campaigners expect a decision from the planning committee in early 2013.

Meanwhile, residents can view details via the planning portal on www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk, or find out more by contacting saveeagleshamvillage@gmail.com.

 

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