Protests grow over plan for golf land at Dougalston in Milngavie

Protests are growing over 
an ambitious development proposal for land at Dougalston Golf Club in Milngavie.

Dozens of people have voiced their objections to the huge project being put forward by property developer British Land, which owns the ground.

More details of the plans emerged as the Herald went to press on Wednesday and more than 300 people had registered for an online presentation by the firm at 4pm that day.

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One Milngavie man described the plan as a “classic example of corporate greed before community” and is calling on local people to lobby their local councillors to halt it.

British Land is one of the UK’s biggest developers valued at more than £4 billion.

Its plans include building around 100 new two and three-bedroom homes, a ‘care village’ which would take the form of social housing, and a range of woodland activities similar to outdoor adventure company Go Ape.

There are also plans for commercial retail units, visitor lodges and glamping to link in with the start of the West Highland Way,

British Land has submitted its proposals to change the designation of the land currently occupied by the golf club as part of the East Dunbartonshire Local Development Plan (LDP).

Local man Rob MacLean who lives near the site, said: “Be in no doubt, this proposed development is absolutely massive and, if permitted, will have enormous knock-on effects on our schools, health facilities, roads, etc. Looking at British Land’s own graphic, it can be seen that its proposed development will result in an increase in Milngavie’s built-up area of around 20%.

“In addition, British Land’s proposals are a ‘Trojan Horse’ which, if successful, will be used by other developers to justify developments on Green Belt and other currently protected land – for example the proposed Lawn Park development off Finlay Rise.”

He added: “This proposal is a classic example of corporate greed putting profit first and in so doing trashing all that is good about a community and an area. It MUST be stopped. I call on all your readers to write to their localcouncillors to ensure that this happens.”

He said the timing of British Land’s announcement was significant as it was to influence the new Local Development Plan for the area under preparation by East Dunbartonshire Council.

Mr MacLean added: “This sets out the framework under which all planning applications are considered.”

According to Mr MacLean, under the existing Local Development Plan, the Dougalston golf course and surrounding area have 
numerous protections against development.

These include: It is Green Belt land; It is a Local Nature Conservation Site, subject to the Council’s Policy 8 – Protecting and Enhancing Landscape Character and Nature Conservation; It is a Locally Important Garden and Designed Landscape, subject to Policy 10 – Valuing the Historic Environment,; It has Core Paths running around and through it; It contains a Listed Building, also subject to Policy 10, and it is subject overall to a Tree Protection Order, also subject to Policy 8.”

A spokesperson for 
British Land said the company welcomed the “high level of 
interest from local people.”

He added: “We want to hear what they have to say.”

Dozens of people posted their dismay at the development plans on the Herald’s 
Facebook site. Comments posted on the site ranged from: “We don’t need more houses, roads can’t cope with the traffic and new housing we have already”, to “soon not have countryside anywhere” and the straightforward 
“madness”.

Thomas Glen, Depute Chief Executive - Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets, said, “We are aware that an online event is being held by British Land in relation to a proposed development at Dougalston Golf Course.

“Late last year, the developer submitted the site to the Council during the Local Development Plan 2 (LDP2) Main Issues Report consultation.

“Therefore the site is being assessed by officers as part of work to produce the Proposed LDP2. Work is ongoing on this document but when a draft is ready, there will be extensive public consultation and everyone will be invited to have their say on all sites, including Dougalston Golf Course.

“Information on the LDP2 process can be found at:

https://www.eastdunbarton.gov.uk/residents/planning-and-building-standards/planning-policy “