Major housing plan rejected

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Campaigners are jubilant after plans for a major housing development on greenspace at Bishopbriggs were unanimously rejected last week.

At a meeting of East Dunbartonshire Council’s Planning Board, councillors turned down the application by CALA Homes to build 135 homes north of Meadowburn. This was despite council officers recommending approval.

Reasons for refusal put forward by Bishopbriggs Councillor Mohrag Fischer (SNP) included overdevelopment of the site and canal, the size of gardens for townhouses and significant rise in traffic.

Campaign group Save Bishopbriggs Canal Greenspace was set up by local residents in protest against the plans. A record 569 objections were made to the council.

At last Tuesday’s meeting, Provost Alan Brown said: “I have never seen so many objections to a planning report.”

A spokeswoman for the campaign steering group said: “We’re delighted with the outcome. We appreciate the hard work and support of Save Bishopbriggs Canal Greenspace members and the wider community.

“Together we achieved a record number of letters of objection, put across many carefully considered objections and won the support of our local Councillors.”

Bishopbriggs councillor Billy Hendry (Con) has supported campaigners since the start and declared an interest at last week’s council meeting. He told the Herald: “I hope CALA will concede. If they appeal, this will be the biggest battle in the 
history of Bishopbriggs”.

CALA told the Herald on Monday it did plan to appeal, adding it believed the council’s decision was “the wrong determination and will have significant implications.”

He said: “Our plans were set to deliver 35 much-needed affordable homes, which we understood to be a council priority, on an allocated brownfield site. We have also had a high level of enquiries for homes on this development, a number of whom are local, and we are disappointed for those who were seeking to move.

“We received a robust recommendation for approval as we took care to consider the site’s opportunities and constraints in terms of green space, active play provision, biodiversity, ecology, connectivity, and the canal setting.

“We remain committed to its development as part of a major investment in Bishopbriggs’ long-term future.”