THE SCOTTISH Prison Service has expressed an interest in buying the former Stoneyetts Hospital site in Moodiesburn, it was revealed this week.
The prison authority confirmed that it is looking at a number of sites for potential development across central Scotland, but refused to comment any further on its plans at this stage.
The interest came to light after the land owners NHS Greater Glasgow considered the disposal of the 127-acre site at a board meeting yesterday (Tuesday), as the Herald went to press.
NHS Greater Glasgow was expected to proposed at yesterday s meeting that, should the Scottish Prison Service not come back with an acceptable offer by the conclusion of missives, the site would be sold to a private housing developer.
A spokesperson for the Scottish Prison Service told the Herald: We have been looking at a number of sites across central Scotland for potential development, but no decision has been reached.
The Prison Service s interest was met with alarm by local councillors and community groups who are now concerned over tje future use of the site.
Moodiesburn and Gartcosh Councillor Joe Shaw said: I will be strongly opposing any application to develop the Stoneyetts site on two grounds.
Firstly, I think it would be fatal to build a prison so close to a built-up area and, secondly, because I believe that the hospital site should be kept as a green belt area.
Fellow Moodiesburn councillor, Willie Hogg, said that whilst he was not opposed to any development whatsoever on the former hospital site, he did not wish to see it used for a prison.
He said: I was in favour of original proposals for the site which involved building around 100 houses on part of the land, with the rest maintained as green belt. I do not wish to see a secure unit built on the site, but would like it kept for the benefit of the community.
And a spokesperson for Moodiesburn Community Council said: The Stoneyetts site has been designated as green belt in all the local plans for the area, and we would most certainly oppose any proposals by the Prison Service to develop the site.
Stoneyetts Hospital closed in 1990 and the buildings were demolished in 1992.
Shirley Linton, Development Control Officer at North Lanarkshire Council, said: No planning application has been received from the Scottish Prison Service for a development at the Stoneyetts site. This particular site is within a green belt area and any application would be considered on its own merit against that position.