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Fury Over Greenbelt Houses
Residents reacted with fury over controversial plans to build up to 900 houses on greenbelt in Overtown and Gowkthrapple.
Neighbours hit out at the proposals and say they will have “devastating” consequences for the area.
David Crichton, 50, attended a public meeting held by Holder Planning, agents for the builder.
He said: “There were only seven members of the public in attendance because I don’t think anyone knew it was taking place.
“But the proposed scale of the thing is frightening. It covers more than 650 acres.
“Houses could be built from the bottom of Gowkthrapple right up Castlehill Road and back as far as the orchards at the top of Horsley Brae.”
And financial wealth consultant David has concerns about the impact a project of this size would have on the area.
The land is currently greenbelt and has been designated a site of Interest for Nature and Conservation (SINC) by North Lanarkshire Council.
“This could result in a population increase of almost the same as Overtown village currently has, 2150.
“It’s the building of a whole new village.” he said.
David says the average number of vehicles per household in North Lanarkshire is 1.1 and this development would bring a further 910-plus vehicles into an area already struggling to cope with the volume of traffic.
“The proposal would add, using accepted planning figures, a further 360-plus children to the area.
“The new-build Clyde Valley campus cannot accommodate anything like this increased number,” David added.
The proposal would also prejudice any future redevelopment of Gowkthrapple area, increase the burden on Wishaw General Hospital services, and all this less than three miles from Ravenscraig with its proposed 3550 homes already passed by planning, says David.
He added: “I would urge North Lanarkshire planning department to refuse any such application made for this site by developers.”
But Robin Holder, managing director of Holder Planning, agents for the builders, says the proposal is still subject to consultation.
“No decision has been taken on the size of the application we will make,” he said.
“We need to conduct studies to see the impact of the proposal on the area.
“Impacts on traffic, drainage and schools must be established as acceptable.
“If they are not, they could be grounds for refusal.” he added.
Mr Holder says the site has been identified as an area of interest by North Lanarkshire Council because they are not delivering the number of new-build houses they need.
“There is a housing shortage in North Lanarkshire and the council are not hitting their target.
“This development could take up a lot of the shortfall in one fell swoop,” he said.
“You might find that when people see the proposal that there is support for it out there.”
It is expected that the planning application will be made to the council in July or August.