Letters to the Editor - September 14, 2011

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READERS have their say on the issues which matter...

Under fire over greenbelt

AFTER various protest meetings in support of North Lanarkshire’s adopted Local Plan which, although providing a substantial amount of land for future house-building, is sensibly defensive of huge areas of greenbelt land in its Northern Corridor, Councillor Shaw appears to support the building of 200 houses and a care-home on established greenbelt!

This is a development which will just about join the villages of Stepps and Muirhead.

What expertise does Mr Shaw have which permits him to state ‘’this is a brownfield site rather than greenbelt’’? After all, our village already has a fine care home, Chilterns, which is rarely full, and as a member of the council and its planning committee is he not morally, if not constitutionally, obliged to accept and agree council decisions? But then, I understand he failed to attend any of the protest meetings, although the other three members did, so can he comment on the house-builders’ demands for greenbelt land on which they wish to build almost 9000 new, and perhaps unnecessary, homes? Or has he forgotten his obligation to his council, and more importantly, his constituents and that there is a council election next May?

Old Chrystonian

(name and address supplied)

Who’s to blame for canal litter?

RE Councillors Ritchie and Renwick on canal litter.

Litter on the canal has been a problem for many years, our society has had 30 years experience of cleaning out the waterway.

Things were getting better when the Community Safety Partnership educated the P6 and P7 youngsters on good citizenship and topics about litter, graffiti and vandalism in their 2004/5 annual review and others (police). There had been a significant improvement in the areas covered.

The cutbacks removed the litter wardens and community support officers (ASBO officers as we called them) - I believe something like 10 in total from our streets,they looked at key areas of trouble and dumping by your constituents - and things have gone back to where we were in the 90s. Who`s to blame? If the hat fits wear it.

British Waterways Scotland and The Waterways Trust do a excellent job in clearing floating rubbish and towpath litter, but it should not be their priority.

Having to do this takes away their manpower for more important maintenance work, work needed to keep the waterway open as an amenity for all.

I feel we as a society are being taxed twice for clearing up other people’s mess and I personally will no longer go on clean-up working parties - once through council tax and secondly in the licence fees and mooring we pay to BWS

Tommy Lawton

Vice Chairman

Founder member Forth and Clyde Canal Society

Car park concerns

I am writing to you to convey my disappointment that a planning application (TP/ED/11/0671) has won an appeal through the Scottish Parliament.

This was in spite of strong local objections and it being originally rejected by East Dunbartonshire Council’s planning department.

The application relates to the proposed construction of a car park near the busy junction of Kirkintilloch Road and Brackenbrae Road in Bishopbriggs.

This part of Kirkintilloch Road is already over-used causing high levels of pollution.

Any formation of a car park and new access off this road will only exacerbate the existing access problems already faced by residents on a daily basis.

It would also cause more congestion for the traffic heading north into Bishopbriggs when traffic turning right into the proposed car park is stationary.

The potential for an accident just beyond an already busy junction at Brackenbrae Road will be increased; not just for drivers, but also for pedestrians and particularly school children who regularly use the pedestrian crossing.

In light of the above the original planning application was rightly rejected by East Dunbartonshire Council yet the Scottish Parliament have seen fit to ignore local concerns and has granted the application’s appeal.

This planning permission period has now lapsed (three years from May 2007) and the applicants are now seeking an extension on the original time period in order for work to commence.

I would appreciate it if you could draw local attention to this situation as this would assist in ensuring that EDC planning department rejects the proposed extension.

This would result in the applicant having to initiate the entire planning process from the start, thereby giving local residents and local councillors their rightful say in how our town is developed.

Aileen O’Donnell

Kirkintilloch Road