Protest to save greenbelt site

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Concerned campaigners have staged a protest against proposals to build a new housing development on greenbelt land .

The Redmoss Farm area of Milton of Campsie has been earmarked for development in the proposed East Dunbartonshire Local Development Plan.

More than 100 local residents took part in a demonstration last Saturday.

Alan Harris, of Milton of Campsie Greenbelt Preservation Group, said: “The large turnout on a blustery morning shows the strength of local feeling against building houses on this beautiful, biodiverse greenfield site.”

The proposed Local Development Plan is currently out for public consultation, with part of the Redmoss site identified for between 50-80 houses, despite previous applications being rejected.

Mr Harris said it was a ‘green light’ for developers to submit a planning application. He questioned why Redmoss was once again being set aside for development and pointed out that the site has not changed. Previously the southern section was designated a Local Nature Conservation area, leaving the northern part open to development.

Mr Harris said:“The criteria for rejection is still in place. It’s still a valuable open space, there’s still biodiversity on this site.

“At the end of the day this will interfere with the wildlife habitats. There are roe deer living on the land, as well as badgers, bats and toads. There’s no line in the grass for the deer saying do not cross.”

Councillor Alan Moir, East Dunbartonshire Council’s convener of development and regeneration, said while no planning applications had been received for the site, the council was required by law to address the need for housing, but tried to avoid over development in greenbelt areas.

He said: “We have a duty to identify new sites for housing, as well as guiding the future use of land and providing the framework for dealing with planning applications. There is a finite amount of land available in the East Dunbartonshire Council area and it is therefore inevitable that sites are looked at again.”

The council has arranged drop-in surgeries to consult on the proposed Local Development Plan. More information is available at www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/ldp