4 CONTROVERSY Nursery proposal is not the answer for area which could be great again
Westwoodhill Recreation Area protesters have called on South Lanarkshire Council to ditch proposals to build a nursery on the site – and breathe fresh life into the space instead.
Residents who live on surrounding streets have urged council chiefs to redevelop the ash pitches and park rather than replacing it with a nursery and car park.
It’s believed the new nursery would accommodate 50 two-year-olds, 160 three- and four-year-olds and employ around 40 people with an access point from Lickprivick Road through the Westwoodhill roundabout.
Iain Dow, secretary of Westwood Community Council, admits that there are problems with the current area.
But he doesn’t see that as a reason to abandon the space – and has slammed the lack of information regarding the proposals.
“Opposition from me is more about the backhanded nature of it,” Mr Dow told the News. “We have been kept in the dark about this.
“Concerns have been raised about what is going to happen to the second pitch. Is it going to be left to rot?
“Nobody that I’ve spoke with is against the idea of a nursery but what we are against is losing this space.
“If they do it here there is nothing to stop them going to the next recreation area. My fear is that East Kilbride will just have Calderglen and the Heritage Loch.”
Mr Dow continued: “The fact is it is used – but it could be used so much more. It could be a hub for the community rather than what it is now.
“People have said it only has broken bottles and dog dirt [but what] if it was used the way Calderglen was used?
“We have sat back and heard the rumours for the last 20 years and now is the time to act – and work with the council.
“We could make this a place that people are proud of rather than have people say it’s an eyesore.
“I agree – it is an eyesore, but there is no reason for it to stay that way.”
Central Scotland list MSP Graham Simpson, a former East Kilbride councillor, last week branded the proposals “disgraceful” as he gave his backing to protesters.
Meanwhile, East Kilbride Central South councillor Collette Stevenson has urged residents to ensure their voices are heard over the coming weeks and months. 170518westwood_2
Westwood man George MacDonald believes that the proposal is another chip away at the history of the town.
“When I came to East Kilbride a long time ago I played football for RollsRoyce,” he said. “At that time we had two football pitches and a rugby park.
“Hairmyres had a football pitch and green space – now that’s all been cemented over. I don’t want any more cement over green areas.
“There are numerous brownfield sites that they could build a nursery in. The pitches need upgraded, but they are still used.
“There are people using it for cricket, joggers, dog walkers, everything – it’s fresh air.
“This is the best they can do – concreting over a football pitch? It’s not on.”
Billy MacDonald is worried about losing an area which he believes provides a benefit to people’s mental health and wellbeing.
“We used to play here as kids and learn how to play football,” he said.
“This is a place of childhood memories dating back three or four
Finding their voices Protesters don’t want to lose any green space to a nursery at the Westwoodhill Recreation Area