Proposal should be‘ called in’, argue protestors
Protestors to the controversial Gilbert field housing development have called on the Scottish Government to put a halt to the scheme.
They want minsters to look at the project, which was granted planning permission by South Lanarkshire Council in March.
Protestors to the controversial Gilbertfield housing development have called on the Scottish Government to put a halt to the scheme.
The 386-house development was granted planning permission by South Lanarkshire Council’s planning committee on March 28.
But some of the 1300 people who protested against the planning application have called on the Scottish Government to “call in” the proposal, arguing South Lanarkshire Council’s assessment was flawed.
Cambuslang-based planner Dave Sutton and Stephen Towill, who led the fight against the Persimmon Homes application, have both written to Kevin Stewart MSP, minister for local government and housing, asking that he intervene.
The pair raise a number of issues with the minister and say an independent panel should be called in to assess the merits of the planning application.
Concerns raised by Stephen and Dave include the council’s passing of a 386-house development, for which the certified planning application states 237 units.
They say a promise for affordable housing on the site does not meet the requirements of the local development plan and further that the promise of affordable housing on the site fetters the council’s ability to determine the subsequent planning application fairly.
Stephen and Dave further argue that the scale and nature of the development means an environmental impact assessment was required.
This, they say, is necessary to provide an overview of the many specialist environmental reports and to provide a remediation strategy to address contamination and pollution they believe are evident on site.
Stephen said: “I - and the local community - are sympathetic to the fact that there is an identified need for housing in the UK and that local councils may be under pressure to meet targets. However these targets can’t be forced in ways that result in the planning procedures being rushed or relaxed, or ignored and abused, as this will inevitably have detrimental impacts on the communities.”
South Lanarkshire Council head of planning and economic development, Pauline Elliott, said: “We are confident that the application for the Gilbertfield site was dealt with entirely correctly throughout the planning process.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “It is open to anyone to seek ministerial intervention in a planning application.
“Ministers would consider intervening only in exceptional circumstances and would normally only become involved in cases that raise issues of national as opposed to local significance.
“Ministers are currently considering a request to call-in the application and it would be inappropriate to comment on the specifics of the case.”
Fight goes on Stephen Towill hopes the Scottish Government will overturn the decision to build new houses at Gilbertfield