There’s ‘no deal’ with builder on homes bid

Alan Harris and Dr Morag Campbell
Alan Harris and Dr Morag Campbell

The council has moved quickly to stress it has no intention of forming any joint strategy with the builder behind a controversial homes plan.

A public relations firm for Bellway Homes, which aims to build 80 homes on greenbelt land at Redmoss Farm, Milton of Campsie, drew up a brief for the project in which it speaks freely of forming a “partnership” with the council in its handling of the controversial scheme.

The document, passed to the Kirkintilloch Herald, heavily implies the council should work in synchrony with the developer – and a housing association – in bringing the project to fruition. It also says there should be a joint approach to media relations.

The public relations firm says the document was a draft, since withdrawn,which has no relevance.

But its contents have incensed Milton of Campsie Greebelt Preservation (MoCGP) secretary Alan Harris, who staged a protest outside the meeting along with fellow activist Dr Morag Campbell.

He said: “The bare faced audacity of the developer defies belief.

“They appear determined to circumvent the planning process.

“We’re told Bellway intend to engage with key stakeholders, but the community are being pointedly bypassed and ignored in this.”

David Leaf, Land Manager for Bellway responded to the questions surrounding the project brief by saying: “We requested a meeting with East Dunbartonshire Council to discuss Bellway’s draft communication engagement strategy to assist with our background reports in formulating our potential proposals for land which we own at Redmoss Farm.”

He added: “ Any suggestion of seeking to create a joint or in any way integrated communication plan with the local authority is incorrect.”

Thomas Glen, director of development and regeneration at East Dunbartonshire Council, told the Herald: “I can confirm that Bellway requested a meeting with the council and advised us that they had appointed PR consultants in relation to their site contained in the Proposed Local Development Plan.”

He added: “The council does not have a joint communication strategy with Bellway and as with all Developers will ensure that they are aware of the process that must be followed in relation to any potential future planning application for any major development – in this area as well as the subsequent stages in the consideration of the emerging Local Development Plan.”