Call for help

THE people of Eaglesham are demanding answers following an explosion which left debris strewn through the area.

The incident occured during building work on an eco village housing development by Mactaggart and Mickel on August 23, causing damage to cars and homes in the East Renfrewshire village.

However, after initial support from the housebuilder, the residents’ committee now claim they have been abandoned by the developer.

Committee member Ray Bulloch of Polnoon Street, told The Extra: “The people of Eaglesham need Mactaggart and Mickel to be more pro-active in resolving this situation.

“Lots of people have lost no claims bonuses and have been forced to pay excesses with no support from the developer.’’

He continued: “They have walked away from the chaos that they caused. They are the ones who are responsible but the community have been left to clear up the mess.

“As soon as the cosmetic debris was cleared, they were gone. We also have concerns about the gas, sewage and water infastructure which may have been damaged by the explosion”.

Both the area’s representatives to Westminister and Holyrood believe something needs to be done.

East Renfrewshire MP Jim Murphy commented: “This was a major incident but could have been a tragedy.

“There needs to be 100% clarity about what happened and the total guarantee that it can never happen again.”

While Eastwood MSP Ken Macintosh added: “It is quite clear that the villagers of Eaglesham had a very lucky escape and we are all now looking for reassurance that this will never happen again, as well as recompense for the damage which has been caused”.

Ed Monaghan, chief executive of Mactaggert and Mickel, commented ahead of a meeting of the residents association on Wednesday.

He said: “Although we have not been invited to this meeting, we would like to clarify our undertakings at the site and to the local residents.

“Firstly we would like to reiterate that no-one was injured which is a relief to all those concerned. As previously stated, the company had a team of tradesmen working immediately they were allowed to by the police to effect repairs and clear up debris.

“Since the incident, all residents who requested surveys of their properties have had this undertaken.

“These surveys have not highlighted any longer term damage to properties as a result of the incident, a seperate investigation has also confirmed the same result for longer term damage to properties and local utility services.

“We met with East Renfrewshire council and passed over these reports, we are currently in the process of clarifying a few points raised by the council.’’

Mr Monaghan continued: “We received a letter yesterday from the chair of the local residents group asking a number of questions. We have passed this to our insurers to enable them to consider what our future liabilities may be going forward, if any, and we await their response.

“The health and safety executive have recently handed the area of the site back to the contractor and are continuing to conduct their investigation with our full co-operation, and we also await the outcome of this.

“All residents can be reassured that we continue to treat this incident with utmost importance and can reiterate our earlier statement confirming that no further blasting will take place at this site”.