Plans to build 500 new homes on green belt land on outskirts of Milngavie and Bearsden

A property developer wants to build around 500 new homes on a massive green belt site on the outskirts of Milngavie and Bearsden.

Caledonian Property Investments has applied for planning permission in principle for a “high quality” neighbourhood on 220 acres of land which borders Killermont golf course at Bearsden.

Local people are up in arms over the planning application which was originally withdrawn in 2019 after a feasibility study by Glasgow City Council found that developing the greenbelt site for housing would not be appropriate.

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A fresh application was submitted by Caledonian Property last month 
seeking to address the study’s arguments.

Well over 150 residents have objected to the fresh plan, along with an MSP and environmental groups.

Caledonian wants to build on the land north of Summerston at Blackhill Farm bounded by the River Kelvin, Blackhill Road and Balmore Road.

In summary, the council says the proposal is “potentially Contrary to Glasgow and the Clyde Valley Strategic Development Plan Policy 14 ‘Green Belt’, and to City Development Plan Policies CDP 6 ‘Greenbelt’ and CDP 7 ‘Natural Environment’ (Environmental Impact Assessment)”.

One Bearsden resident told the Herald of her concerns.

She said: “Although the Summerston green belt is not in Mingavie or Bearsden it will detrimentally affect residents of these areas.

“This is a huge development of 500-plus houses. This will increase the traffic on the already congested Balmore Road and exit from Blackhill road. This will also cause increased pollution.”

She added: “This will affect Killermont Golf Course as it will be right beside it.

“The green belt will be devastated resulting in loss of the flood plain that this gives the area.

“There will be loss of the flora and fauna of the area including the nesting area of the endangered tree sparrow.

“This site is also near the Antonine Way and other areas of local and national interest”.

Environmental group Friends of the River Kelvin protested: “As part of a green corridor this is an important area for local biodiversity - and any development here would disturb the balance.

“There are wild deer, buzzards, bats and voles on this site.

The group added: “There are also many people who use this land for recreational and health and well being needs”.

In his letter of objection to planners, Bob Doris, MSP for Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn expressed concern over the increase in traffic and its negative impact on the area.

He wrote: “The developer’s plans include a set of traffic lights and a roundabout. These will not solve the issues the development will create.

“Blackhill Road is a narrow road which will struggle to accomodate additional traffic. A bus service on this road will unlikely to be suitable given the road itself as well as 
unlikely to be commercially viable.

“There are also concerns currently regarding the junction with Balmore Road which are likely to be exacerbated.”

He added: “Traffic flows mainly through Summerston onto Maryhill Road in the mornings from both the longstanding homes in the area, the modern developments in recent years at Blackhill Road (which are owner occupier houses with multiple car ownership), also from East Dunbartonshire and from other parts of north Glasgow.”

Mr Doris also expressed concern over the affects on the local environment, including the risk of flooding if the site is developed.

Glasgow City Council told the Herald this week that the application will be considered by the council “in due course”.

Caledonian Property, based at Bishopbriggs, was unavailable for comment as the Herald went to press.