Patrick Harvie MSP
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 (email@example.com), 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).