The road to Fruin?

Sign of the times: but the council say it is not for sale.
Sign of the times: but the council say it is not for sale.

A piece of Newton Mearns land has been pulled off the market after a resident pointed out that the last attempt to sell it was the subject of a protest seven years ago.

In January 2005, The Extra reported that a group of Fruin Avenue residents were worried over plans to build four houses on a patch of green space behind Whitecraigs golf course.

The site, which measures just 0.16 hectares, was subject to a proposal from AG Rentals Ltd — but neighbours argued that it was too small to accommodate the build.

Points were also raised over the already heavy traffic in the area as a result of St Cadoc’s church nearby, and the council received over 20 written objections before rejecting the plan and leaving the site alone.

However, this week, resident Charles Murray contacted The Extra about a for sale sign erected on the site on April 5.

Mr Murray commented: “Like many Newton Mearns residents, I do not understand why East Renfrewshire council seems intent on approving development on ground which many people think is greenbelt.

“We thought that, after the Extra story in 2005, that was the end of it.

“But to my surprise — and everyone else who lives on the street, I’m sure — this sign has appeared again.

“Why is the council advertising a small area of greenbelt for development, when they know that homeowners will object once again?”

Charles — who has lived on the street since 1969 — added: “To me, the danger is that if it was sold, it wouldn’t be a bungalow or two, it could be a block of flats.

“It would just spoil the area. It’s not a case of not in my back yard — it’s just that the odd bit of green ground around Newton Mearns gives the place a bit of character.

“If the council squeezes houses in everywhere, it ruins that character”.

After inquiring about the sign this week, The Extra was informed that ERC would be delaying any sale until it could be presented to the council cabinet.

A spokesman said: “The site was being marketed for development but, in light of the decision taken by the council in 2005, the site has been temporarily removed from the market to allow a reassessment of the site to be carried out”.

Despite this response, the for sale sign remained in place as The Extra went to press.

The council spokesman added that it would be removed as soon as possible as “further information has become available to the council’s head of environment.

“He expects it will be a number of weeks before he can make any decision and will most likely take the matter to cabinet after the recess to seek their approval to continue to market the site”.