New fight looms over plans for green spaces

Both the MP and MSP believe the plan is 'fatally flawed'
Both the MP and MSP believe the plan is 'fatally flawed'

The startling pace of homes development in Eastwood has prompted both the area’s MP and MSP to object in uncompromising terms.

For East Renfrewshire MSP Jackson Carlaw the renewed plan to create almost 200 new homes in Waterfoot - described as a “hamlet” in some accounts - is a rerun of a 2015 battle.

He says nothing has changed, and that the 2017 pitch for a prime slice of a district still basking in semi-rural idyll is just as unacceptable as when it was thrown out last time around.

Joining the fray is East Renfrewshire’s new MP, Paul Masterton, who has been urging residents to respond to the consultation to the Gladman proposal for Waterfoot (which expires today (Thursday)).

He wanted local people to send council planners “reasoned objections” why the scheme should not go ahead.

Mr Carlaw said: “Rejected back in 2015 by The Scottish Government Reporter as threatening the integrity of the Waterfoot community there is still no reason to grant this application.

“East Renfrewshire’s Planning Committee must listen to residents and say no again to Gladman.”

Jackson Carlaw, meanwhile, has stressed that he is not “anti-development”, and says his opposition is based squarely on concern about the effect such an influx of housing will have on prime local greenbelt and quality of life.

He said: “Local residents and I fought off similar proposals back in 2014 to 2015, and the appetite for tearing up our greenbelt has not changed one iota since then as the results of my local survey show.

“This is not to be anti-development but to recognise the pressures and strains such building would have on our roads, schools and the fundamental changes it would bring to Waterfoot.”

Now he is hoping the volume and quality of objections generated will deliver another firm rebuff to a plan some objectors argue will ruin one of Eastwood’s classic “unspoiled” greenbelt enclaves.

In his objection Mr Carlaw says: “Much is made in the Local Development Plan of ensuring that East Renfrewshire as whole retains its appeal of being ‘a desirable place to live and work’.

“However consistent development of Waterfoot will have the opposite effect.

“Green spaces which include the green belt are important for a community to use and should not be burdened with buildings, we have see occur with Waterfoot Park, yet this development represents a further incursion into the ever decreasing greenbelt in Waterfoot.”

Meanwhile Newton Mearns Residents Flood Prevention Group (NMRFPG) says it is “alarmed” at the way the council has dealt with a plan to build more than 160 homes at Malletsheugh West .

The group argues the plan does not comply with supplementary planning guidance for Maidenhill, and claims developers could use an overloaded sewer to service the site, “introducing additional flood risks”.

It says another plan at Maidenhill (around the Malletsgheugh Inn site) has already been refused by Scottish Government Ministers on the grounds of flood risk - and argues this decision sets a precedent.

In a closely-argued case, the group contends its fears about a perceived flood risk to the area have not been adequately answered – and wants to see the Scottish Government overhaul the plan for closer scrutiny.

Facing similarly detailed objections in the past East Renfrewshire Council has robustly defended its record on planning issues.