On all reasonable grounds?

SOUTHSIDERS are up in arms about plans for a care home in their beloved Queen’s Park.

If the plan goes ahead, the green connection between Queens park and the recreation ground could be severed and the future of the southside festival could be in jeopardy.

Glasgow city council have proposed plans to build a 600-bed care home on Queen’s Park recreation grounds, beside the new Victoria.

Don Harvey, a 44-year-old janitor, told The Extra: “Planners seem to think that any green space is fair game for development. Glasgow’s parks belong to the people of Glasgow.

“The proposal to use the patch of land in question does not seem to take into consideration that it is a vital social asset for people”.

In 2006, part of the park was taken for the new Victoria Hospital.

Although Langside councillor Paul Coleshill admits the care home would be an excellent facility, he worries about a pattern emerging.

He complained: “Last time they took a large chunk of this park and gave it to the NHS to build the new hospital.

“The city council gave that away, and left the valuable old hospital site with the NHS to be sold for flats”.

Shawlands and Strathbungo community council have already voted to object to the proposal on the basis that brownfield sites are available and the loss of valuable parkland would not be acceptable.

Fears about the future southside festival centre around mineworkings in the park, which would make large scale gathering elsewhere problematic.

Festival chair Andrew Montgomery told The Extra: “The festival makes use of the entire site at the moment and we originally had to relocate because of the ground conditions elsewhere in the park”.

Newly elected Glasgow Southside MSP, Nicola Sturgeon told The Extra that she has “concerns about building on a greenfield site which is so well used by people”.

A Glasgow city council spokesman said: “Social Work services will undertake a full consultation with the community prior to lodging a planning application to build the care home.

“Any issues or concerns will be gone through at this time and there will be further consultation once the planning application is submitted.

“It is intended that improvements around the site will be made as part of care home development and, as is standard, any loss of amenity would have to be made up for elsewhere”.