Sir Charles comes out of retirement to back greenbelt campaign

Chryston.  Sir Charles Gray fighting to save North Lanarkshire's green belt 28.7.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes
Chryston. Sir Charles Gray fighting to save North Lanarkshire's green belt 28.7.11 Picture by Jamie Forbes

The former leader of Strathclyde Regional Council has come out of retirement in a bid to save North Lanarkshire’s greenbelt.

Sir Charles Gray CBE announced his return to politics last week to fight proposals to include an additional 39 sites for house building in North Lanarkshire Council’s draft local plan.

Over 8000 homes could be built across sites in villages including Auchinloch, Chryston, Moodiesburn, Muirhead and Stepps if the proposals are passed.

Sir Charles said: “I’m absolutely appalled at the way the Scottish Government is acting in accepting proposals for 39 additional greenbelt sites by private developers, and only consulting constituents who live within 20 metres of these sites.

“The consultation period is totally inadequate, is against democratic principles, and bypasses the democratic process of North Lanarkshire Council. For the Scottish Government to impose any of these sites onto the agreed local plan is totally unacceptable.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: “The reporters are yet to reach a decision on whether any of these sites should be allocated for development.

“They have sought additional information on 39 sites from the council, the developers, respective community councils and nearby neighbours and despite the holiday period have received more than 300 responses.

“In our view, parties have been given a reasonable period in which to comment and we do not consider it necessary to extend the deadline.”