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Fight Goes To Scottish Government
The fight to retain green space at Holmhills Park has reached the Scottish Government as Cambuslang residents urge ministers to “call in” a controversial planning application.
Submitted retrospectively by three householders at 3, 4 and 5 Grenadier Park, the application refers to 720sq metres of park land they purchased from South Lanarkshire Council in December 2015.
The trio, who want to create larger gardens, have applied to the local authority to change the designated use of the land from green space to residential use.
But, as the local authority failed to consult on the sale of the land and publish the planning application’s deviation from the agreed local development plan, locals have dubbed the £32,600 deal underhand.
Cambuslang Community Council has, through local architect and planning expert Dave Sutton, called on the Scottish Government to rule on the planning application.
Mr Sutton’s letter to chief planner John McNairney argues the council’s earlier behaviour means it is unfit to assess the application without bias.
He says it has sold off designated green space land, abused public funding by agreeing to sell land before EU funding conditions allowed, failed to apply its own local development plan policies regarding green space designation to two earlier planning applications and failed to revoke those planning permissions when notified the applicants had submitted false certificates of ownership.
Mr Sutton states that these factors, combined with a letter from a householder in Grenadier Park which states council officers said their change of use application is “a simple formality” represents a clear conflict of interest.
“We can’t expect to get a fair hearing,” Mr Sutton said.
“I believe in local democracy, I wish we could get it determined in South Lanarkshire but we are in a situation where they have gone through the decision making process but not had the local development plan applied.
“The local development plan goes through four years of consultation and if something is designated green space you would expect it to be protected. Why is South Lanarkshire Council not adopting its own policies?”
South Lanarkshire Council refused to comment on the accusations levied against it.
But a spokesman said: “Planning application CR/16/0129 is expected to be on the agenda for the next meeting of South Lanarkshire Council’s planning committee which is due to be held on Tuesday, September 20. As this is a live planning application we are unable to comment further.”
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said: “Correspondence has been received from Cambuslang Community Council and ministers will consider whether there are grounds for intervention.”