Park taken off market
SLC agree to discuss community ownership of park
Residents living near Douglas Park in Cambuslang are claiming a victory after South Lanarkshire Council took the land off the market.
The authority will now enter into talks with a local group and the community council with the aim of bringing the park into community ownership.
South Lanarkshire Council have backed down on the sale of Douglas Park in Cambuslang.
The authority said this week they were prepared to speak to the residents with a view to returning the facility to community ownership.
The Reformer reported last month that the park, on the junction of Stewartfield Drive and Douglas Drive, had been placed on the market with athe intention of being sold for a housing development.
Locals reacted with fury, but they have now started planning to set up a ‘Friends of Douglas Park’ group similar to those operating in Overtoun, Cambuslang and Holmhills parks.
Patrick Murphy, Head of Support Services, Housing and Technical Resources said: “The council has had an approach from the local community regarding the possibility of community management or ownership of the land.
“The land has been taken off the market to enable these options to be discussed in more detail.”
Susan White, one of the driving forces behind the ‘Friends’ plan told the Reformer a community meeting would be held on the issue.
The group are actively seeking the views of locals on what they would like to see happen to the area.
In a letter to residents, the group said: “As a result of this recent development it is planned to form a new community body called ‘ Friends of Douglas Park’ to work with the council to restore the park and ensure its long term future.
“Douglas Park is an invaluable community resource and we feel it is very important to ensure the involvement of the wider community in any management/ enhancement programme.
“As part of this it is essential to establish what you, the community, would like from Douglas Park.”
John Bachtler, chair of Cambuslang Community Council said the group were “delighted” at the development and hoped to meet the council “in the next fortnight.”
He added: “This offers a real opportunity for local residents to determine the future use of the park and is very much in the spirit of the new Community Empowerment Act (Scotland) which is encouraging more community involvement in decision- making by public bodies.”
Anyone wanting to have their say can contact the Friends on friendsofdouglaspark@hotmail. co.uk
Protest Residents, young and old, had previously opposed plans to sell the park