Speak your mind

EAST Renfrewshire residents have been asked to have their say on the area’s future — before it’s too late.

A consultation on the council’s proposed local development plan will run from February 6 to May 1.

The proposed plan was approved for consultation by the council on December 12 last year.

The council intends to identify new areas for housing and economic development, in order to ensure the safeguarding of the countryside and the protection of communities from unplanned developments.

Other areas set to be consulted on are affordable housing, housing for older people, economic growth and employment opportunities

Council leader Jim Fletcher has encouraged local people to have their say before it’s too late.

He told The Extra: “I have no doubt that there will be pressure from developers via their responses to increase the level of house building in the plan.

“ It is therefore important local residents take the opportunity to comment on areas of the green belt that they wish to see protected

“The council`s new LDP has been approved by councillors from all the political parties represented on ERC and attempts to meet the housing targets required in the Strathclyde Structure Plan but also to protect our valued green belt.”

The revised local development plan has been produced after evaluating responses from the consultation on the main issues report.

However, councillor Gordon Wallace, the leader of the Conservative group, believes residents have every right to be sceptical.

He said: “The consultation’s introductory remarks which state that the LDP will ‘help safeguard the environment and protect our communities and the green belt from unplanned development’.

“That was the intent behind the original local plan until the administration introduced the supplementary guidance policy that allowed house builders to build on designated greenbelt.

“We need cast-iron assurances that under no circumstances will this or any future Administration be allowed to introduce mechanisms in which to circumvent the integrity of what will become our finalised LDP.”

Copies of the proposed local development plan and accompanying documents can be viewed online at www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/local-development-plan. The documents are also available at the council offices and all the local libraries.