CONTROVERSIAL plans for housing in the Hillhead area of Kirkintilloch have been given the green light despite protests.
East Dunbartonshire Council’s planning board met on Tuesday, April 24 to discuss two applications for redevelopment in the area.
Trust Housing Association were given the green light to build 34 houses and flats on the Meiklehill House site in Lammermoor Road.
Concerns were raised because the proposals included two and three story buildings but 13 councillors sitting on the planning board approved the project while five rejected.
East Dunbartonshire Council will also build 14 homes in nearby Lammermoor Crescent.
Their plans include four villas, eights flats and two cottage flats, and were approved with 12 councillors voting for the project while six were against.
Kirkintilloch East and Twechar councillors Jack Young and John Jamieson called for both applications to be amended, and East Dunbartonshire Council received a petition with over 220 signatures.
Councillor Jack Young said: “The local people of the Meiklehill House area were seriously let down by the Labour/Tory administration in East Dunbartonshire when, with the support of councillors from other areas they voted through proposals to build three and four story high rise flats at this location, completely ignoring a petition of over 220 local residents against the high rise flats.”
Councillor John Jamieson added: “The residents had largely accepted that housing would be built in the area and that the 19th century Meiklehill House, a rare historic feature in this area would be demolished, but the imposition of these blocks was a move too far.
“I feel that the board was railroaded into approving this unsuitable proposal as to have refused it would have resulted in the loss of millions in housing grant. “These planning applications were made to fit a financial solution rather than to satisfy the needs of those requiring housing and the amenity of surrounding residents. It wasn’t the council’s finest hour.”
Kirkintilloch East and Twechar councillor Stewart MacDonald was keen to stress that he called for a site visit to ensure that the plans were fully considered before they were approved.
He said: “I fully supported residents’ views about over-development at the Lammermoor Crescent site and voted against this application.
“While I supported the application at Meiklehill House, I also raised residents’ concerns about vandalism at the derelict old building.”
Council leader Rhondda Geekie, who also sits on the planning board, says the accusations made by councillors Young and Jamieson were outrageous.
She said: “The planning board is non political and it is an outrageous suggestion that the administration put this through.
“If the administration had not turned up, the planning application would have went through anyway.”
Depute council leader Billy Hendry added: “I know full well the planning board has never been political. It seems to me that Councillor Young had not put his argument across well enough and it is sore grapes from him. This is democracy at work.”
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