4 CON­TRO­VERSY Nurs­ery pro­posal is not the an­swer for area which could be great again

East Kilbride News - - NEWS - Mark Pirie

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

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