Community council demand investigation into "green belt giveaway"

Carmunnock Community Council has written to the chief executive of Glasgow City Council demanding an investigation into a recent decision by the planning local review committee to allow new homes to be built on green belt land.

Four houses are to be built on the site in Busby Road

The Zoom Developments application for the four houses, which will be situated between 48 and 66 Busby Road, was previously refused because the proposal was not in accordance with the local authority’s development plan.

A total of 107 objections from residents including a petition with 63 signatures on it were presented to the council including concerns that the site in question is a green belt and that a previous review rejected it for housing.

Sign up to our GlasgowWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Objectors also claimed the development posed a flood risk, increased traffic and loss of privacy for the area.

Local residents gathered for a public meeting at the site this morning

The appeal was discussed by the planning local review committee on September, which the community council claim was brought forward two weeks without due notice to interested parties.

At the meeting Councillor Ken Andrew stated his concerns about building on the green belt, saying: “There has been development on the green belt in Carmunnock, but this parcel of land was not identified within the 2017 city development plan to be open for development.

“It is quite straightforward to me that we should be refusing this because we want to protect our green belt.

“In this day and age of climate emergency perhaps we should be doing as much as we can to protect green belt land while opening up as many brownfield sites as possible to development.”

However, committee chairwoman Anne McTaggart and Councillor Elaine McDougal disagreed and argued that the houses would benefit the area and help people climb the property ladder.

Baillie McTaggart responded: “The application reflects and complements the existing developments along the Busby Road.

“It is not designated as a site of land importance and it hasn’t been and it is not opening the floodgates as we are only opening a few houses.

“This will be an area for healthy living and open space living which people are desperate for given the year we have just been through.”

The community council held a public meeting at the site this morning (Tuesday) and are now seeking legal advice on applying to the Court of Session, having already received over £2,000 in donations to help pay for legal fees.

Chairman John Lawless said: “In my experience it is the worst example of a council planning meeting I have ever seen and we demand the chief executive finds out what happened and why?

"Carmunnock is the last remaining village within the Glasgow City Council boundary and has a green belt to protect it. That is being destroyed with this decision which has ramifications for every green belt in Scotland – it’s a green gelt giveaway!

"In the view of the community council, the committee overturned this decision under extraordinary and irregular circumstances. Our concerns relate to the timing of the committee, over-riding green belt policy without valid reasons, over-riding the need for planning reports against policy, and the overall competence of the committee.

"We are looking for written assurance from Glasgow City Council that cumulative and piecemeal unplanned erosion of the green belt around Glasgow will cease in line with current policy.”