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Community Council Criticise plans
Opponents of plans to extend a car park into Uddingston’s much-valued Crofthead Park gathered in the village to express their objections to the scheme.
South Lanarkshire Council are planning to extend the David Milne Centre car park on Old Mill Road into the greenspace, which had been saved from development three years ago following a long campaign.
Around 110 people, sitting and standing, crammed into the village’s Park Church’s hall in Main Street for the two-hour long meeting.
Council officials were invited to go along, but did not attend.
Meeting chairman and community council member Jimmy Keenan pointed out the group was “unanimous” in its opposition and 1600 signatures had been collected opposing the plans.
Mr Keenan added: “The park has been constantly eroded over the years. This is another extension of that erosion. We are determined to protect what is left.”
Plans, he stressed, were well advanced for the refurbishment of the park — due to take place at the start of August — and lottery funding secured by environment group Uddingston Pride.
Mr Keenan said the community council viewed the area threatened with the car parking extension as an integral part of the park.
Parking in that area would bring traffic congestion, threaten road safety and create pollution, he added.
Parallel plans for two three-storey blocks of flats for social housing on the site of the former village hall across Old Mill Road will create 16 designated spaces for residents there, along with four disabled spaces.
However, there will be fewer parking spaces in Uddingston town centre as a result, and the local authority see the Crofthead Park car park extension as a way of compensating for this.
“There is the illusion that these spaces offered by South Lanarkshire offer a gain in this area. The opposite is the case,” Mr Keenan said.
“The area is desperately short of parking. South Lanarkshire’s plans reduce the number of parking spaces available.
“If South Lanarkshire’s plans go ahead that road will be opened up to two-way traffic.”
Mr Keenan estimated there will be a loss of parking from the car park where the flats will be built (28) and on-street parking on Mill Lane (10) and Old Mill Road (10).
These 48 spaces, he said, would be lost and 18 new ones created at Crofthead Park, a net loss of 30 spaces.
The proposed spaces in the David Milne centre car park extension “are the kind of places likely to be blocked for the day” and put parking pressure on the area.
Villager Elizabeth McAdam told the meeting that Old Mill Road was dangerous for children crossing since cars were parked on either side of the street and there was reduced visibility for drivers and pedestrians.
She suggested there were alternative village sites which could be used for parking.
Uddingston Community Council member David Milligan said, since the council was the applicant and the planning authority, there was a conflict of interest.
He stressed that the first option for the council had been to sell the site — like the former children’s home building in Church Street — not social housing.
The plans are set to be determined at the South Lanarkshire Council meeting of May 12, but objections will still be accepted up until that date.
South Lanarkshire’s head of planning and building standards Michael McGlynn said this week: “An invitation to attend was extended to officers of the council.
“However, as the meeting was to debate and discuss two live planning applications, it wasn’t appropriate for officers to attend or take part in any discussion.”