MIR space probe

A PUBLIC meeting is set to take place on Wednesday to raise awareness of the council’s plans for the future of East Renfrewshire.

Newton Mearns community council have organised the gathering on February 29 in response to what they believe is the public’s lack of understanding with the main issues report (MIR), which outlines future development for the next 25 years.

The MIR is the first stage in preparing the next local development plan — the template against which all new planning applications will be assessed.

NMCC secretary James Sandeman said: “Most of the community do not seem to know the LDP affects all residents and they have a part to play, now and in the future.

“Less than 1,500 have actually responded to the MIR consultation: that’s one household in 25, just four per cent.

“The MIR raises the prospect of around 40 per cent more houses, around the edge of the current built up area, with implications on already-stretched schools, roads, utilities, health services”.

Speakers at the meeting will include a representative from ERC planning, elected and prospective councillors and Scottish National Heritage.

It begins at 7pm at Mearns Castle high school and entry is on a first come first served basis.

Busby, Clarkston and Eaglesham councillor Stewart Miller says it’s not just Newton Mearns residents who should be worried.

He told The Extra: “The MIR will impact absolutely everyone — and not just in terms of housing, but with schools, dentists, doctors etc.

“The whole of East Renfrewshire is up in arms — and so they should be.

“Nobody understands why ERC are even proposing to build on productive, agricultural land when there is already permission in place for 3,000 houses“.

A community council spokesman updated The Extra on the status of the MIR.

He said: “The current round of consultation ran from October 2011 to January 2012 after being extended by a month to encourage as many residents as possible to have their say.

“This round of consultation resulted in over 1,400 responses being lodged.

“Our planners will now examine the consultation responses in detail and come back with a report in the summer outlining responses/proposals in relation to the issues raised”.

The next stage of consultation on the local development plan is expected to be in October 2012.