New road drains ‘trashed’ his­toric gar­den land­scape

No laugh­ing mat­ter as ha-ha suf­fers dam­age

The Scotsman - - Around Scotland - By ALAS­TAIR DAL­TON Trans­port Correspondent

A his­toric land­scape be­side the M8 is be­ing “trashed” to im­prove drainage on the mo­tor­way and link roads, campaigners have claimed.

The Save Wood­hall and Sask­ine Green­belt group in North La­nark­shire said fea­tures in the grounds of the former 18th­cen­tury Wood­hall House had been dam­aged by pipe lay­ing.

They claimed pro­tected trees had also been felled.

Con­trac­tors who built new sec­tions of the M8 and the A8 link have an­gered lo­cals with the work near Air­drie that is aimed at drain­ing wa­ter away from the roads.

Kath­leen Weet­man, of the green­belt group, said it had af­fected a rare land­scape fea­ture – a ha-ha, a ver­ti­cal bar­rier that pro­vides an un­in­ter­rupted view from the gar­den.

She said: “Sub-con­trac­tors have been sent into Wood­hall poli­cies to cor­rect flood­ing.

“Lo­cals see they have trashed the ha-ha, an ar­chae­o­log­i­cal re­main of im­por­tance. Now they in­tend to de­mol­ish part of it.”

Ms Weet­man said a “surge pond” had been built fol­low­ing se­ri­ous flood­ing, which was de­signed to col­lect wa­ter run­ning off the new roads. She said it had in­volved an over­flow pipe be­ing laid across the ha-ha and trees had also been cut down. She said: “This is a his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ment that is very im­por­tant to the area. We have been told they would be taking down part of the ha-ha. This is to­tally not on.

“Local peo­ple are very an­noyed about it. The con­trac­tors are not taking cog­ni­sance of his­tory or the en­vi­ron­ment.”

The ha-ha was built by Wood­hall House owner and Glas­gow mer­chant Daniel Camp­bell of Shaw­field in the 1700s to con­trol live­stock.

A spokesper­son for North La­nark­shire Coun­cil said: “While there is a tree preser- va­tion or­der in place at Wood­hall Es­tate, there are ex­emp­tions which al­low trees to be felled if re­quired, for op­er­a­tional is­sues re­lat­ing to sew­ers or main pipes.

“In this case, the work was re­quired in re­la­tion to pre­vent flood­ing on the M8 nearby.”

A Trans­port Scot­land spokesper­son said con­trac­tor Scot­tish Road Part­ner­ship (SRP) had started “min­i­mum es­sen­tial tree felling” as part of the Wood­hall works. “SRP is aware of the ha-ha wall fea­ture in the vicin­ity of these works and has taken steps to iso­late and pro­tect the wall to min­imise any dis­rup­tion to the wall ... on com­ple­tion of the works, SRP will re­in­state the local area.”

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