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Fury As Access Road Goes Through Showpark
The row over a temporary access road for the construction of the new Halfmerke Primary School is rumbling on with a local councillor defending the move at the latest meeting of East Mains Community Council.
The decision to build the road through a section of the Showpark sparked anger among nearby residents and dog walkers.
And East Mains Community Council, along with Friends of the Showpark, accused South Lanarkshire Council of failing to consult with them or local residents on their plans.
They claim they were led to believe construction traffic would gain access to the site off the Kingsway.
However, SLC say this was ruled out as the road would have to be closed for several months causing significant traffic disruption.
Speaking at the meeting of East Mains Community Council, chairman Bill Arthur, said: "The sudden decision by SLC to construct a road through the Showpark for Halfmerke Primary’s construction/demolition was not anticipated by local residents nor the community council and occurred with no dialogue.
"This was made more disappointing due to the community council’s ongoing input into the Halfmerke plans and continued attempts to seek reassurances about the future of the Showpark. Local people had little chance to challenge SLC on this matter as the leaflets were delivered to some residents in the Village a few days before work commenced. SLC have repeatedly advised that the Showpark is valued as a priority greenspace."
Residents who attended the meeting also argued that while some streets had been leafleted about the access road and some changes to the nearby road layout, others had not.
Meanwhile, parents at Halfmerke Primary also raised concerns over dog dirt not being picked up by owners who are using an area of grass next to the school children play on instead of taking their usual route across the Showpark.
Councillor Alice Marie Mitchell told the meeting the discovery of a gas mains on the Kingsway would have meant closure of two lanes for a significant period and advised that Scottish Gas Networks (SGN) requested a large sum of money to move the gas mains and, as a result, a meeting was called with elected members to advise them of the change.
However, members of the community council rejected this position stating that it seemed bizarre that SLC knew nothing of this gas main, and its implications for road closure and pointed out the close proximity of a petrol station to the gas main in question, which hadn’t posed a problem in the past when the petrol station was in use.
Cllr Mitchell claimed that the matter had nothing to do with SLC and Transport Scotland would need to answer these questions. She also confirmed the plans for the new construction road through the Showpark did not go to committee as there was no need for this and pointed out that the elected members had no reason to stop or query this as there was an urgent need for a new school to be built.
The councillor said the four elected members for the area felt this is the only way for the new school to be built and reassured the community council that the Showpark would be reinstated on the completion of the works.
Bill Arthur added: "No statutory requirement for consultation is a poor excuse for lack of communication and planning application. SLC is supposed to work closely with community councils and local residents, and in this case, there has been disregard for people who live close to and use the Showpark."