Give residents equal rights

Scottish Green Party MSP for West of Scotland, Ross Greer.
Scottish Green Party MSP for West of Scotland, Ross Greer.

Green MSP Ross Greer has hit out at “unfair planning laws” after a recent controversial application by CALA Homes at Bishopbriggs.

Mr Greer is calling on other East Dunbartonshire politicians and residents to back a new planning bill aimed at 
levelling the playing field for the community against 
unwanted developments.

Mr Greer said: “Despite a record 569 objections to a housing plan for Meadowburn at Bishopbriggs and the council’s unanimous rejection of the plan, CALA are still able to appeal this to build 135 houses on green space near the canal.

“Yet if the proposal had been accepted by the council, the community would have had no right to appeal”.

He has called on other MSPs to back the Equal Right of Appeal and is urging residents to write to their local representatives.

The Green MSP for the West of Scotland has been involved in a number of campaigns against unwanted developments in East Dunbartonshire for some years, including as a committee member of We Like Milngavie, who successfully stopped an expansion by Tesco in the town.

He said: “I hear constantly from communities around the region who are frustrated and left feeling powerless by the planning system.

“They don’t see why a developer like CALA can appeal against a unanimous rejection of their plans, but the community don’t have this right when the shoe is on the other foot.

“We have the opportunity to change this in 2018, if other local MSPs will back an equal right of appeal for communities.

“The current planning system is unbalanced and undemocratic- the developer’s exclusive right of appeal gives them an unfair advantage over communities.

“A new planning bill will go through the Scottish Parliament soon. I’ll be supporting moves to equalise the right of appeal but many MSPs and the SNP Government are still to be persuaded. I’d encourage everyone with experience of this unfairness to write to their local representative.”