Pa­trick Harvie MSP

Rutherglen Reformer - - News From The Pews -

Last week’s Ruther­glen Re­former re­ported that developers had sub­mit­ted pro­pos­als to South La­nark­shire Coun­cil to have green belt land des­ig­nated for res­i­den­tial development.

The area off West­burn Road in Cam­bus­lang, which con­sists of agri­cul­tural land and other green space, is thought to be able to ac­com­mo­date over 1,200 new homes.

The pro­pos­als have been sub­mit­ted to the lo­cal development plan and are now open for pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion through the main is­sues re­port; clos­ing on Au­gust 18.

The Scot­tish Green Party will al­ways op­pose pro­pos­als to des­ig­nate green belt space for re­de­vel­op­ment of any kind.

Our rea­sons for op­pos­ing this pro­posal stems from dam­age to the natural en­vi­ron­ment as well as cre­at­ing in­creased pres­sure on lo­cal ser­vices such as schools and in­fra­struc­ture.

The area des­ig­nated for development is re­ported to be around 40.82 hectares. This land is cur­rently home to wildlife and con­trib­utes to the bal­ance to the lo­cal eco-sys­tem.

It is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that our pre­cious green spa­ces fa­cil­i­tate drainage of rain water which can re­duce the risk of flood­ing in urban ar­eas.

Fur­ther­more, over 1,200 new homes could im­pact neg­a­tively on ac­cess to water and sewage as well as con­tribut­ing neg­a­tively to al­ready con­gested road sys­tems.

Ac­tivists from your lo­cal South La­nark­shire Greens will be high­light­ing these con­cerns di­rectly to South La­nark­shire Coun­cil, via email (lo­calplan@south­la­nark­, and with lo­cal coun­cil­lors across all po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

Green belt land is a pub­lic good and should not be sold to the high­est bid­ding de­vel­oper which is then con­verted into profit for their share­hold­ers.

The Scot­tish Green Party be­lieves that if any land should be used for re­de­vel­op­ment this should be brown­field land.

This can con­sist of any land that has been used for pre­vi­ous development and is cur­rently un­used and where fit for pur­pose.

Brown­field land can also have ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture such as ac­cess to water, sewage and trans­port links.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil should also be con­sid­er­ing un­used build­ings for re­de­vel­op­ment with a drive for more so­cial hous­ing.

More­over, any pro­pos­als for house build­ing should be sym­pa­thetic to the lo­cal area in terms of pub­lic ser­vices avail­able to sup­port in­creased pop­u­la­tion; such as schools and leisure fa­cil­i­ties.

This ap­proach seems to be a much more sen­si­ble when look­ing at a strat­egy for re­de­vel­op­ment and pre­vents de­stroy­ing our es­sen­tial and beau­ti­ful coun­try­side.

I en­cour­age ev­ery­one in Cam­bus­lang to get in­volved in shap­ing how your South La­nark­shire Coun­cil will take this forward.

You can do this by ex­press­ing your opin­ions di­rectly or by en­gag­ing with South La­nark­shire Greens through Face­book or on Twit­ter (@south­langreens).

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