Park taken off mar­ket

SLC agree to dis­cuss com­mu­nity own­er­ship of park

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Dou­glas Dickie

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

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