EuroPark leaflet sparks anger in campaigners
Campaigners opposing t h e cont rove r s i a l EuroPa r k p r o j e c t have labelled a leaflet focusing on the proposed development distributed to households “pure deception” and “hypocrisy at its finest”.
The “A Vision that is Green at Heart” document was delivered to homes by property consultant CBRE on behalf of Orchard Brae.
The developers’ “green master plan” for housing, retail and business development between Calderbank and Carnbroe has evoked the ire of protestors including the Woodhall, Faskine and Palacecraig Conservation Group.
Dr Ann Glen, a representative of the group, responded to the distribution of the latest leaflet by claiming: “This document is simply pure deception.
“The EuroPark development would signal the destruction of green belt land on a grand scale; it is a profit-motivated land grab where heritage and nature are largely ignored.
“The leaflet makes reference to the building of affordable houses but there are currently 5000 houses scheduled to be built in North Lanarkshire.
“In Airdrie and Coatbridge there is already new local authority housing in Cairnhill, Chapelhall, Blairhill and Whifflet.
“Many more such houses are planned but have yet to be constructed – at Kirkwood, Plains and Thrashbush, with more to come at Whifflet.
“As for the declaration of new jobs, house builders have their own teams and it is reported that those with building skills in the local area have no difficulty finding employment.”
Dr Glen added: “The CBRE leaflet takes little notice of heritage, yet the Monkland Canal is a monument of national importance, with the same status as Edinburgh Castle.
“Covering the land with twoandthree- car households will not only lead to serious environmental losses and increases in air pollution, but also cause gross congestion on local roads.
“The EuroPark proposal, if permitted, would be an example of urban sprawl on a grand scale, contributing to a Los Angeles in the making between Glasgow’s eastern suburbs and those of West Edinburgh.
“The new ‘community hub’ would also be another blow to existing facilities in Airdrie, Coatbridge and village centres.
“All of this is against a background of a crying need for green places where people can walk or jog in accessible countryside, and benefit in both body and mind from being amid nature.
“The EuroPark leaflet concludes with an offer of a ‘helping hand’ for community groups; is this an attempt to buy support for a flawed scheme?
“The EuroPark proposal has again been given a coat of green paint to try to persuade the gullible that it has environmental credentials.
“This leaflet is just hypocrisy at its finest.”
Orchard Brae claim their EuroPark plans include four new distinct areas of parkland which will be created across the site’s considerable retained green space – amounting to 55 per cent of the entire site – with ponds, river, woodlands and the canal becoming focal points.
These areas include Monkland Canal, North Calder, Woodland Estate and Community parks with a “rejuvenated parkland network” giving residents a “formalised open space to explore and enjoy, preserving the best of the landscape for future generations while providing better paths and lighting that will heighten safety for new and existing users”.
Scott Gillespie, Orchard Brae director, said: “Fundamentally, we want to complement and enhance the natural beauty of the site, not detract from it.
“It’s what makes this proposed development unique and we want to realise the true potential of those wonderful existing assets.
“With that in mind, and as part of our commitment to being ‘green at heart’, we have outlined plans to create a country and heritage park at the very core of the development.” Joseph Daly and senior manager of Low Moss prison, Alan Easton, gave evidence.
Black was transferred to Low Moss from Shotts prison in September 2016 which the inquiry heard was to take part in an anger management programme.
In evidence, Mr Easton said he wasn’t working on December 21, 2016, when Black was taken to hospital but informed about it on his return to work a couple of days later.
He told the inquiry Black had taken an overdose and “there was quite a serious concern for his condition; there was a threat to his life”.
Mr Easton told procurator fiscal Claire Gallagher that he spoke to Black in person when he returned to work.
She asked: “How did he seem to you?”
The witness replied: “Mr Black was very blasé about the incident, he was quite confident there was no problem or issue. Black, but nothing could be done.
The inquiry also heard Black had been prescribed a number of medications including antidepressants and painkillers and had “stockpiled” a lot of them.
Sheriff John McCormick will issue his determination at a later date.
Black’s criminal record stretched back to December 2001, when he was convicted of a sex assault when he was aged just 14.
On Valentine’s Day 2004, he carried out an attack on 18-yearold Kenneth Baillie and when the case came to court in 2006, Sheriff Alfred Vannet branded Black one of Scotland’s “most dangerous men”.
He was also involved in the brutal attack in Airdrie that led to the death of Steven Pettigrew, 16, in April 2004.
Black was convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice and jailed for five years at Airdrie Sheriff Court in May 2015, then sentenced to a further four months in July 2016 for assault.
Ongoing battle Dr Glen (left) and her fellow protestors have taken their fight all the way to Holyrood