Ravenscraig residents say council isn’t listening to them

Irate residents who have made their homes on the former Ravenscraig steelworks have accused North Lanarkshire Council of failing to fully process to their concerns about ambitious new developments that will border their properties.

How the site used to look

The householders have expressed alarm at the pace of a series of pre-Christmas consultations for a heavy goods vehicle transport complex by Russell Logistics and a new dual carriageway link at the housing development.

The date for making submissions in regard to the projects has now elapsed - but a request to have this extended to the new year has not been heeded.

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Ken Good, Chair of Ravenscraig Community Action Group, said: “Like nearly a thousand families, we came to Ravenscraig on the promise of a new, thriving, sustainable and safe community. What’s now clear is that the promises made are under threat from plans by a private developer for major heavy goods vehicle transport complex planned on a site zoned for local homes for local families.

“What we’re asking for isn’t unreasonable. The regeneration of Ravenscraig could and should be a huge positive for local families, communities and for the regional economy. That’s the vision promised to us by the Ravenscraig partnership, Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and North Lanarkshire Council. It’s right that public and private bodies take their obligations seriously and work with communities.

“We are acutely aware that our community is not informed of the facts behind this proposed development for various reasons - COVID restrictions, the time of year or not having the means to connect with the online forums.

“Extending the consultation period into the new year would allow for better engagement and for people to make decisions based on facts.”

A council spokesperson said however that this was not the whole story

She said: “Russell Logistics has submitted a Pre-Application Notice to the council’s planning service for a Railfreight depot at Ravenscraig and is currently carrying out a public consultation exercise.

“The Pre-Application Process is an opportunity for the public to raise any concerns with the applicant, who can consider these before a planning application is submitted.

“A full planning application is expected to be submitted in 2021 when a full assessment will be carried out, including a statutory consultation.

“The Pre Application consultation meets the statutory requirements which have been amended by the Scottish Government to reflect the current Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on public meetings/events. The council cannot require the applicant to extend the consultation period.

“The council is currently asking the public for comments on plans for a new road with connected active cycling and walking links between Ravenscraig and Motherwell.

“This project incorporates the strategic infrastructure investment which is part of the approved Ravenscraig masterplan, and not linked to the current on site road construction activity being led by Ravenscraig Limited, which has planning permission.

“The current public engagement for the Ravenscraig Infrastructure Access project is being undertaken on a voluntary basis by the council, and is designed to give residents and businesses even further information on this longstanding project before a planning application is submitted next year, which will include formal public consultation.”