We will take land fight to Holyrood vow campaigners

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WE won’t give up on our greenbelt – that’s the rallying cry from an army of campaigners who have vowed to their fight all the way to the Scottish Parliament.

At a meeting in Moodiesburn last week, residents said they would petition, lobby and protest at the Scottish Parliament over proposed changes to North Lanarkshire Council’s Local Plan.

Developers want more sites in the northern corridor released for housing, but residents say the area can’t cope with more houses and they fear for the greenbelt.

Now a ‘committee of resistance’ has been formed with representatives from community councils and other organisations in a bid to spearhead the fight against the proposed changes to the Local Plan, which could see over 8,000 houses being built across 39 sites in the northern corridor.

Stepps resident Malcolm Close said: “There’s no doubt we need to work together, it’s important something is done to demonstrate the collective opposition.

“It’s going to take everyone to show the full strength of feeling against these proposals.”

Debbie Bell, from Moodiesburn, said: “We have to get together and show the strength of feeling.

“We have too many houses as it is in this area and no amenities for the people who live in them.”

Moodiesburn resident Sharon Nicol said: “I think joining together and lobbying the Scottish Parliament is the only way.

“What the developers are proposing is ridiculous, we’ll have no greenspace left.”

The action group has received backing from councillors and MSP Elaine Smith, who says the loss of greenspace would be ‘environmental vandalism’.

Ms Smith, who has written to Scottish ministers to ask for a meeting, told the Herald: “The greenbelt is the lungs of these communities and we can’t let it be destroyed.

“It’s important to get this committee up and running so it can decide how to show big business that, in this area, people power is going to win.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals is aware of the public concern regarding the North Lanarkshire Local Plan examination.

“People can be assured that the examination is being carried out as is required by current planning legislation and that no decisions have been made regarding the allocation of potential further housing sites. The comments gathered as part of this process will help reporters reach their conclusions.”

Sites in the following villages will be part of the consultation:

Stepps North

Auchinloch: Burnbrae Road; Langmuirhead Road.

Chryston: Lanrigg Holdings; Lindsaybeg Road; Main Street; Millbrae Road; Gartferry Road.

Moodiesburn: Gartferry Rd, East of Stoneyetts; Former Stoneyetts Hospital; Gartferry Rd, West of Stoneyetts.

Muirhead: Crowwood; Station Road; Woodhead Farm.

Stepps: Buchanan Business Park; Craigendmuir Farm; Gateside.