Good news for east ren green belt?

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East Renfrewshire’s controversial Local Development Plan has been assessed by Scottish Government reporters — and it’s good news for campaigners in Waterfoot.

Feedback on East Renfrewshire Council’s LDP — which sets out policies for the development and protection of local land — was published this week by the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals.

The report gives the green light to ERC’s masterplans — including Maidenhill/Malletsheugh in Newton Mearns — but recommends against using green belt in Waterfoot for development, stating that it would “represent significant intrusion...and a major change to the landscape”.

Campaign group Waterfoot Action has long protested plans for a 46 acre residential scheme by Gladman Development Ltd — campaigner John McCourt told The Extra: “We are delighted by the news. We said from the start that this development is a massive intrusion into the green belt, and that it would have a detrimental impact on our village — now this has been confirmed.

“But we realise the battle isn’t over . There’s always a chance of appeal, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on the situation.”

With new builds looming in Mearns, Conservative councillor Jim Swift voiced concerns.

He commented: “If I represented those in Waterfoot or Barrhead, I would be very pleased. However, I represent the people of Newton Mearns who will see yet more development on their doorstep without the associated infrastructure to add any amenity to people who live here.

“I would have liked to have seen more development in Barrhead where it is wanted, and less in Newton Mearns where it is not.”

An ERC spokeswoman responded: “This is an ambitious plan that will help to grow a strong local economy for years to come. We are delighted that there is no requirement to add additional housing sites.”

She added: “While there may be a few who do not agree with parts of the plan, the strength of support to date demonstrates our ambitious thinking. We will incorporate the recommendations made and look forward to bringing the plan back to council.”

Copies of the report — to be considered by the council before submission to Scottish ministers — are available at council offices and libraries.