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Community Trust Plans Blocked
The charity bidding to build a community stadium in East Kilbride have accused South Lanarkshire Council of kicking their ambitious plans for the town into the long grass.
East Kilbride Community Trust have applied for planning permission to build the stadium on land in their ownership at Hurlawcrooks Road in Langlands.
But they also want to buy adjacent council-owned land to provide a play park, to expand their allotments and community growing programme enjoyed by additional support needs children throughout the town and provide greenspace areas for families to enjoy.
Despite having tabled an offer over the independent valuations they have obtained for the land, EKCT say council planners are, once again, refusing to engage with their proposals or recognise the benefits they will bring to the town.
After months of negotiations over the purchase of the land, EKCT claim the council are refusing to play ball.
The Trust’s chief executive, Monique McAdams, has now written to the council’s chief executive Lindsay Freeland calling for an urgent investigation.
She claims that there are deliberate moves within the council to impede their plans.
“We have offered them a sum over the market value for a piece of land which is currently not used”, said Ms McAdams.
“Yet after months of negotiations with officials, detailing to them our proposed community uses, which are commonly permitted within greenbelt areas, planners have told us it would be ‘premature’ to consider selling the land to us.
“All we are asking is that the council engage and negotiate with us to enable us to move forward with the design and planning of this phase of our proposals.
“For five years now the Trust has been trying to make the community stadium a reality, yet South Lanarkshire Council is still unable to find a way of engaging in the process.”
In addition to calling for an investigation, Ms McAdams has written to every East Kilbride councillor as well as MP Lisa Cameron and MSP Linda Fabiani in a bid to win their support for the Trust’s plans.
“These are East Kilbride’s elected representatives, so we would hope they would begin to ask questions as to why the Trust continually hits a brick wall in any negotiations we try and have with the council.”
A spokesman for the council would only confirm to the News they had received the letter from the Trust and would respond in due course.