Fight is on to save Busby Primary School playing fields

East Renfrewshire Council plans to build a new nursery to replace the portable building ' but parents want to keep the playing fields as they are.
East Renfrewshire Council plans to build a new nursery to replace the portable building ' but parents want to keep the playing fields as they are.

Plans to build on the last of Busby Primary School’s playing fields have been met with fierce opposition.

Busby Primary School parents, locals and the ‘Save Busby Primary Playing Fields’ group have taken on East Renfrewshire Council as they fight plans to build a 120-place nursery on the last of the school’s playing fields and green space.

Earlier this year the council’s Phase 1 nursery development ripped up more than half of Busby Primary School playing fields and green space to install a 25-space car park and a temporary nursery in a portable building.

The ‘Save Busby Primary Playing Fields’ group strongly oppose East Renfrewshire Council’s Phase 2 plans which will mean that Busby Primary will lose almost all of its playing fields and green space for around 300 school children.

Busby Primary School playing fields have always been an asset to the school – from outdoor learning in all weathers, to the nature garden, schools sports days, Parent Council summer fayres, school values days, football pitches and free play for the school children during breaks and lunchtimes.

One father said: “Not so long ago the playing fields used to host a football pitch used for local school football and running competitions.

“It would be extremely sad to see this area be developed on further, reducing the little remaining green space available for the current and future pupils of the school to play on.”

One of the local parents objecting is the MSP, Ken Macintosh, whose six children have all attended Busby Nursery and Busby Primary.

He said: “All of us as parents applaud the desire to create more nursery places, but the school has already lost much of the green area around it as it has expanded over the years.

“The last of the green space playing fields at Busby Primary is not the location to build on. If we are not careful, then we’ll have turned our school into the proverbial concrete jungle.”

An East Renfrewshire Council spokesman said: “The council is required to significantly increase the number of nursery places available across the area by August 2020 to meet the Scottish Government’s commitment to providing more than double the amount of free early years childcare for all.

“One community which requires a much larger facility than is presently available is in Busby, and by creating a bespoke 120-place nursery in the grounds of the school it will provide a fantastic setting for children’s learning.

“We have engaged with parents as part of the process and as the plan progresses will ensure that this dialogue continues.”

• To view, comment or object to the plans for the new nursery school at Busby Primary, click here

• You can also comment by emailing planning@eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk or by writing to: Head of Environment, East Renfrewshire Council, 2 Spiersbridge Way, Thornliebank, G46 8NG.

• Anyone interested in supporting the Save Busby Primary Playing Fields’ Group, can visit their Facebook page