Developers revisit golf course housing plans

Clober Golf Club
Clober Golf Club

Residents are concerned about plans to build homes on greenbelt land which includes a designated local conservation site.

Stewart Milne Homes wants to develop 120 houses on Clober Golf Course, which local people say is an important wildlife corridor.

A previous planning application was refused in 1998, a decision upheld following two local plan inquiries and a public inquiry.

However, East Dunbartonshire Council has now approved the inclusion of part of Clober Golf Course for housing in the Proposed Local Development Plan (LDP). This is currently under review by a government reporter, and the results will be announced in the summer of 2016.

The secretary of Clober Residents’ Association, Malcolm Hodgins, said: “If the council allows houses to be built on Clober Golf Course then we can anticipate the queue of developers pressing for permission to build on farmlands beyond the golf course, out to Stockiemuir Road and Craigton village.

“After all, if a long-standing, well-tested boundary such as the present one can go, why not move it a bit more in the next local plan which is coming up in just a few years?

“It is difficult to understand the motivation of our ruling council coalition, especially our LibDem and Labour Milngavie councillors, in reversing a policy that has stood the test of time, including a public inquiry and two local plan inquiries since 1998.

“In a strong housing market, pressure to build on greenfield sites is intense, leading, if unchecked, to ever more congestion, loss of amenity and urban sprawl.

“But one job of planners is to control developers’ ambitions for the public good.

“Clober Golf Course will not contribute significant, if any, public housing. So why now? Perhaps councillors have simply tired of rejecting the persistent demands to build here? Or is it the allure of the council tax that will flow in? We can only hope that the Scottish Government Reporter will have more sense than to approve this crazy scheme.”

Councillor Alan Moir, development and regeneration convener, said: “No application has been received by the council for housing at Clober Golf Course. Should one be received it would be assessed by the council against Local Plan 2 and any material considerations, which includes the Proposed Local Development Plan. The site was one of a number selected to meet housing need and demand through a comprehensive site selection process of all sites submitted by developers.”