WITH the future of Waterfoot Park hanging in the balance, residents have refused to give up hope.
The council cabinet will meet in September to decide if it will sell Waterfoot Park to Cala Homes for a development of 28 units, meaning the park on the site will be replaced by a significantly smaller alternative, while serving more residents.
Mike Gow, a 36-year-old dentist, grew up in Waterfoot and returned to the area to raise his three children.
Mr Gow — who submitted a petition against the plans to ERC with almost 300 signatures prior to the planning committee’s meeting — told The Extra: “I feel like the park has been stolen from us and the council and CALA are in cahoots.
“We are very disappointed. The decision is under the guise of providing affordable housing but that is clearly a Trojan horse used by the council to push through unpopular planning decisions
“Locally there is an overwhelming consensus against building. The Olympics were supposed to inspire a generation, yet, weeks later local children are being told they will have nowhere to kick a ball around”.
Jim Sheriff, spokesman for Save East Renfrewshire Green Belt, has criticised the decision, as he contests Waterfoot Park is not part of the local plan and was not included in the main issues report consultation.
He said: “The site was excluded from all three options consulted upon in the consultation, as it did not meet the required development criteria.
“Surely if the planning committee had followed the adopted local plan they would have voted against the proposal and not in favour?
“It is not true to say there is public opposition to all building in East Renfrewshire. There were nearly 1,500 responses to the council’s main issues report, the vast majority of which stated that they favoured the building of more homes on brownfield sites”.
Residents have set up an online petition to try and halt building on their beloved park at www.change.org/petitions/east-renfrewshire-council-save-waterfoot-park.
Meanwhile, East Renfrewshire council has nominated Busby Glen park for special protection by the Queen Elizabeth Fields Challenge, run by charity Fields in Trust.
Elsewhere, Mansell Homes are holding a public exhibition in Parklands country club on Monday between 3pm and 8pm with local people set to have their say on proposals for a housing scheme at Capelrig Road.