New road drains ‘trashed’ historic garden landscape
No laughing matter as ha-ha suffers damage
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.”