Protest fails to halt threat to greenbelt

12-11-2015 Picture Roberto Cavieres.  KIRKINTILLOCH. Protest outside council HQ in Kirky by Greenbelt Preservation Group against Bellway Housing development at Milton of Campsie, before council meeting
12-11-2015 Picture Roberto Cavieres. KIRKINTILLOCH. Protest outside council HQ in Kirky by Greenbelt Preservation Group against Bellway Housing development at Milton of Campsie, before council meeting

A proposal to build up to 80 houses on land previously 
protected as greenbelt has been given the go-ahead - 
despite major opposition 
from local people.

Campaigners against the plan by Bellway Homes to build affordable homes on ground at Redmoss Farm in Milton of Campsie showed their opposition with a rally outside East Dunbartonshire Council offices on Thursday night as councillors met to discuss the Local Development Plan.

But at the full council meeting, the plan, including the Redmoss proposal, was passed by councillors.

A spokesperson for the Greenbelt Preservation Campaign said: “This was despite 669 objections and a petition signed by 333 local residents opposing the Redmoss inclusion.

“Many of the objections raised concerns about the site’s ecological significance, as well as the capacity of local services such as public transport, roads and schools to cope with additional housing, not to mention the desire to protect precious greenbelt land around the village.”

According to the campaign group, the location of the site and the density of housing proposed does not meet East Dunbartonshire Council’s own guidelines.

Alan Harris, Secretary of the MOC Greenbelt Preservation campaign told the Herald: “It is bitterly disappointing that elected representatives and council officials have chosen to ignore the facts surrounding the proposed development site and the huge public opposition to this development.

“We are supposed to live in a democracy and whilst we recognise the opposition to other developments in the plan, none came anywhere close to the volume of objections from throughout our village.

“There is no denying this site is hugely popular with local residents and of significant ecological value. The village road network is already struggling to cope, our public transport provision is already inadequate.

“The proposed density of 80 houses on this 1.62 hectare site is double the council’s planning guidelines (17-25 dwellings per hectare).

“We hope Government Ministers and the Reporter will see sense and uphold the previous Reporter’s decision that the ecological and environmental value of Redmoss Farm outweighs the need for affordable housing.”

A council spokesperson said it had been agreed to progress the Local Development Plan to the Scottish Government for examination.