Danger quarry '˜needs a solution'

It's time for a fresh look at what some argue is Giffnock's biggest unsolved problem, according to former Provost Allan Steele.

His call for action on the dangerous Braidbar Quarry site follows many years of frustration, and the “near miss” of a plan by builders Macdonald - which was abruptly shelved with the onset of recession in 2008.

Braidbar became a live issue again at the council elections this year, when local man Paul Drury mustered impressive support for his stance as an independent determined to protect Huntly Park.

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He managed fourth place out of nine candidates, and can fairly claim to represent the views of many hundreds of Braidbar’s immediate near neighbours.

But veteran former Liberal Democrat councillor Allan Steele, who also feels passionate about Giffnock’s amenity, says it’s high time the council took a pro-active stance on the historic problem posed by the former quarry.

He says the lack of progress leaves at least 19 homes “blighted” and unsaleable - and a large tract of ground fenced off and dangerous.

The grassy meadow covering the main part of the site conceals a labyrinth of historic mine works which rendered the area critically unsafe many years ago.

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Builder Macdonald had proposed to fill them in, at enormous expense, then create a housing development on and around the site.

Allan Steele said: “That was nearly a decade ago, and we are no farther forward.

“I can appreciate that people feel strongly about a new plan encroaching on Huntly Park, but I don’t think the area necessarily has to lose it - or that this should prevent us studying any serious plan for the area.

“We’ve got the situation where homes are blighted and where the council has the task of keeping people out of an area which is very dangerous.”

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Meanwhile the council has confirmed there have been informal discussions with potential developer Advance.

A council spokesperson said: “While informal discussions have been held with Advance, it remains the case that no formal proposal of application notice or planning application for the development of this site has been submitted.

“If in future an application should be submitted a process of public consultation would need to be carried out by the developer.

“The formal planning application process also ensures a voice for anyone who wishes to make a representation to the council before a decision is made by councillors on the planning committee.”

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One factor which could bring either the Advance plan, or some other proposal, to the fore, is the diminishing stock of prime residential sites available for development in Eastwood.

However unless the key concerns of indomitable local campaigner Paul Drury and his hundreds of supporters were answered any new scheme could expect to meet sustained and well-organised opposition.

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