New concern over park plan

Auchinloch protest
Auchinloch protest

Objectors to a builder’s plan to create 67 new homes in their village are urging a local benevolent society to tell the community what’s afoot.

The concern follows the installation of a sewage pumping facility on the corner of a park originally bequeathed to the village of Auchinloch by a local businessman in the 1930s.

The issue has reignited concerns about new housing spreading on to the park, the village’s main recreation area.

In what has since become a long-running saga the former John Dickie Homes originally gained permission for a new housing scheme, but fell victim to the recession in 2009.

Auchinloch Community Council – which organised a local protest demo against new building last year – now fears Stewart Milne Homes could be allowed to compromise public use of the park to take the plan forward.

More than 270 people who were concerned about the issue signed a petition against the development plans in 2014.

The park site is understood to be owned by Lenzie Estate Company, owned by the Lenzie Benevolent Society, which was originally formed to aid underprivileged people in the area.

It’s thought to have been treated as a public park by the local community since the late 1930s.

According to Auchinloch Community Council chairman Alistair Moodie, the Benevolent Society (or its directors) has been reluctant to consult with the community, or negotiate on key issues surrounding continued public access to the park.

With numerous builders now reviving plans that were put on ice during the worst of the recession he says there’s a danger a plan overwhelmingly opposed by Auchinloch residents could compromise public access to the park.

He said: “These homes would be in the catchment for Lenzie Academy and would no doubt be an attractive proposition for a builder.”

The threat, as he sees it, of new homes compromising accepted public use – and calling into question perimeter rights of way – makes it clearly in the public interest for the society, or its directors, to give the local community a full explanation of how it plans to proceed.

The Herald contacted an agent of the Lenzie Estate Company, based at a Glasgow firm of chartered accountants, in an attempt to gain answers to the community council’s concerns.

We were told he could not comment, but would pass our enquiry to directors. None has so far responded.