Park sale anger

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Dou­glas Dickie

Res­i­dents in Cam­bus­lang are up in arms over the sale of their lo­cal park area.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil have put the piece of ground known as Dou­glas Park be­tween Ste­warton Drive and Dou­glas Drive up for sale. But those liv­ing nearby say it is the com­mu­nity’s land and should not be turned into hous­ing.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil have been ac­cused of try­ing to cash in on com­mu­nity land in Cam­bus­lang.

The au­thor­ity re­cently put a grass area be­tween Ste­wart­field Drive and Dou­glas Drive up for sale.

But lo­cal res­i­dents have been left fum­ing at the news and want the coun­cil to con­sider plac­ing the area, known lo­cally as Dou­glas Park, into com­mu­nity own­er­ship.

Dozens turned out on Satur­day to protest against the plans.

Ten­ders for the land were be­ing in­vited un­til last Fri­day, but lo­cals still hope any po­ten­tial sale can be stopped.

They say the land was gifted to the com­mu­nity to be used as a public space and the coun­cil have no right to sell it.

How­ever, the coun­cil this week in­sisted they own the land and have ev­ery right to dis­pose of it

On their web­site, the coun­cil de­scribe the land as a “tri­an­gu­lar shaped site slop­ing down­wards south to north com­pris­ing of a grassed area of land tra­versed by over­grown foot­paths.”

They say it would be suit­able for a residential de­vel­op­ment.

One res­i­dent of Ste­warton, Seanna McGhee, said the land was well used by lo­cal kids, in­clud­ing her three - Fionnlagh (8), Molly (6) and Lexie (4).

She added: “Ini­tially, this was all kept re­ally quiet, no-one knew any­thing about it.

“The kids play down there as it’s the only bit of green space about. Peo­ple even go on New Year’s Eve to watch the fire­works across the city.

“Over the years, peo­ple seem to have been us­ing it more and more. It’s the kid’s wee bit of na­ture, some­where they can go and just play andm this comes at a time when we’re try­ing to get kids away from their iPads.”

Another lo­cal res­i­dent, David Dry­den (34), said: “There’s a bit of du­bi­ety over whether the coun­cil are even al­lowed to do this.

“The land was given to the com­mu­nity to be used as an amenity, so there is an el­e­ment of cash­ing in.

“There was orig­i­nally a gar­den here but it’s now been run down. The kids have got a swing up there and they go sledg­ing in the win­ter.

“I un­der­stand the coun­cil may see it as a fi­nan­cial bur­den but we see it as a valu­able re­source. If they don’t want to pay for it, per­haps the com­mu­nity can take it on, but we weren’t even ap­proached.”

The res­i­dents have won the back­ing of Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Coun­cil, who wrote to chief ex­ec­u­tive Lind­sey Free­land out­lin­ing their con­cerns.

They said al­low­ing a hous­ing de­vel­op­ment on the land would be in vi­o­la­tion of the coun­cil’s own lo­cal plan and the pro­posed sale was counter to the coun­cil’s own greenspace pol­icy.

Other con­cerns raised is the des­ig­na­tion of the land and the lack of con­sul­ta­tion.

Chair John Tay­lor, said: “We are very con­cerned at the pro­posed sale of Dou­glas Park.

“While we un­der­stand the huge fi­nan­cial pres­sures that South La­nark­shire Coun­cil are un­der, we think it wrong ar­bi­trar­ily to sell off a piece of greenspace that has been used as a small park for over a hun­dred years and is val­ued by lo­cal res­i­dents.

“We are par­tic­u­larly dis­ap­pointed at the lack of con­sul­ta­tion on this is­sue ei­ther with the lo­cal res­i­dents or with Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Coun­cil. We urge South La­nark­shire Coun­cil to stop the sale, re­view this is­sue and meet with the res­i­dents.”

The Coun­cil’s Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of Hous­ing and Tech­ni­cal Re­sources, Ann Gee, said: “The Coun­cil owned site at the cor­ner of Ste­warton Drive and Dou­glas Drive was mar­keted for sale hav­ing been de­clared sur­plus by the Coun­cil’s Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee at the meet­ing of April, 29 2015.

“The Coun­cil has a valid own­er­ship of the site and the de­vel­op­ment brief pre­pared by Plan­ning and Build­ing Stan­dards Ser­vices con­firms that the site is iden­ti­fied within the de­vel­op­ment plan as be­ing lo­cated within an area des­ig­nated for residential use.

“A clos­ing date of Au­gust 21, 2015 was set for of­fers and the of­fers re­ceived will be as­sessed by the rel­e­vant Coun­cil ser­vices tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion all the ob­jec­tions and ob­ser­va­tions re­ceived in­clud­ing those made by the Com­mu­nity Coun­cil.”

Anger Res­i­dents protest against plans to sell the area known as Dou­glas Park

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.