Park strife

The decision on whether or not to sell Waterfoot park is due today (Thursday) from East Renfrewshire council.

Ahead of the vote, Eastwood MSP Ken Macintosh has criticised the decision made by his party colleagues to approve building on Waterfoot park.

Earlier this month, Labour councillors Kenny Hay, Betty Cunningham and Paul O’Kane accepted an application from Cala homes to erect 28 housing units on the public space.

Mr Macintosh told The Extra: “I simply cannot understand the recommendation of the council planning officials to allow building on this greenbelt site.

“Over the past few years I have repeatedly objected to any development on this site and I remain strongly opposed to these plans in particular.

“The land which will be lost is zoned as greenbelt and, in line with the council’s own democratically approved policy, it should be protected”.

Kenny Hay refused to comment on the views of Ken Macintosh.

He said: “The reasons we take these decisions are not for publishing and they are certainly not party political.

“Planning permission has been granted but is currently awaiting the decision of the full cabinet to sell the full playground.

“The decisions we take on the planning committee are based on rules and legislations stipulated by the planning department”.

A petition run by residents at www.change.org/petitions/east-renfrewshire-council-save-waterfoot-park now has more than 250 signatures.

This week, test holes around the park — set to be reduced from 4,000sqm to 1,300 — were being dug by developers.

Meanwhile, East Renfrewshire council has denied claims from campaigners that it has made any attempt to sweep the 1,400 responses to its Main Issues Report consultation under the carpet.

A spokeswoman for East Renfrewshire council said: “The consultation outcome was the subject of a full council meeting on June 27, a public meeting — and the results and future timeline were immediately posted online.

“We have deliberately not proceeded with any wider publicity during the summer period so as not to be accused of attempting to release information at a time when the majority of our residents are on holiday.

“Instead we have arranged a Q&A for local journalists with our planning team to enable them to discuss the consultation outcomes in detail and have a clearer idea of the forthcoming part of the process.

“This has been done to ensure we maximise publicity”.

CORRECTION: Waterfoot Park decision was slated for September 13 cabinet, not today’s meeting. Updated story to follow shortly.