New bid to buy play park

Waterfoot locals are attempting to hijack the sale of a piece of land from the council to a developer.

Meanwhile councillor Stewart Miller has put the wheels in motion for a ministerial call in on the decision.

This follows East Renfrewshire council’s cabinet decision on Thursday to sell a childrens’ play park to CALA as part of a 29 home development on the edge of Waterfoot, near Eaglesham.

Residents of the village have lodged a community right to buy application with the authorities in Edinburgh, in a bid to stop CALA homes developing on their beloved park.

Several residents arrived at last week’s cabinet meeting — where the sale of the land was being discussed — to hand in their petition against the sale, which included 783 names.

At the cabinet meeting, a resolution to exclude the press and public was lifted and a plan to open up more than 5,500 square metres of land and £150,000 to the community was presented.

However, campaign leader Mike Gow is unhappy with the offer.

He told The Extra: “This is the same land where they intended to site the new park in their original proposal, until they withdrew it and submitted a new proposal with a small park at the top of the site, because the lower site is so unsafe!

“We can only hope that someone in the Scottish government with the power to stop this takes notice and acts.

“There is a conflict of interest because the council stands to benefit financially from this proposal. That is why we believe there should have been a ministerial call in”.

Conservative councillor Miller has dismissed the decision as being “wholly inappropriate”.

He said: “The council’s Outcome Delivery Plan promotes the health and wellbeing of our children, the importance of green spaces and encourages our communities to be more active and have influence over how their environment is shaped, yet the cabinet have gone against all these principles”.

“Last week, the cabinet decided it is better to move our children away from a safe, open play area towards a secluded piece of land that lies on the biggest river in East Renfrewshire which often bursts it’s banks and has been the scene of one fatality already this year.

“It’s absolute madness and what makes it more so is that none of this is necessary. The surrounding plot of land is more than capable of accommodating the 29 homes without the need to use the play park”.

The call-in will require a meeting of the full council, and the next meeting is scheduled for October 24.