The County You Live, Work And Play
Parking Plan Given Go Ahead
South Lanarkshire’s planning committee approved a council proposal to extend a community centre car park into a section of the village centre park, to create a further 21 parking spaces.
The plans – which had attracted 1758 letters of objection – were passed by 15 votes to seven, along with parallel plans for social housing (two blocks of three-storey flats) on the site of the former village hall off Old Mill Road.
The extension of the David Milne Centre car park, from 11 spaces to 32, is to compensate for the loss of parking at the former hall site.
Campaigner and Uddingston Community Council member, Jimmy Keenan, said following the meeting: “We are extremely disappointed. We feel our objections and voices weren’t listened to. We are for social housing – but not at the expense of the park.”
Mr Keenan had earlier told councillors in a presentation that the park had been “three times the size” when he moved to Uddingston 30 years ago, and expressed concern about potential future erosion.
He disputed the assertion made by the council’s Facilities, Waste and Ground Services, in the paper before councillors, that there was “no conflict” arising from the car park extension and proposals for new play and recreation facilities there.
There was a “moral” conflict in refurbishing the park with one hand and taking away a section of park for car parking with the other, he added.
Councillor Jim Wardhaugh (East Kilbride East) suggested the Crofthead Park parking plans were a “panic response” to concerns over general parking in the vicinity following the social housing plans, and an “easy option.”
But South Lanarkshire’s roads and transportation engineering manager Colin Park did not accept this view, saying: “It’s a reasonable option to take the existing car park and improve it and create an asset for the whole area. It will complement the upgrading of the park which we knew was forthcoming.”
As a courtesy, village councillors Jim McGuigan and Anne Kegg – who do not sit on the planning committee – were invited to speak about the proposals prior to the vote.
Councillor Jim McGuigan told the committee: “The loss of the park is a step too far. I ask you to take seriously the opinions of more than 1700 residents of Uddingston.”
However, Councillor Kegg said: “I feel the community as a whole would benefit more from the availability of amenity housing than the loss of 6 per cent of the playpark.”
She said Uddingston Pride had no objection to this part of the park being used for parking, adding: “This will not affect their plans for the park. They support the application for the car park.”
And Councillor Maureen Devlin, who sits on the planning committee and voted for the proposals, said: “As much as I regret any green space being eroded, I have to look at the balance between that and the requirement for social housing. It is two decades since we have had any social housing in the Bothwell and Uddingston area.”
Both councillors Kegg and Devlin stressed the need for time restrictions at the car park to ensure a turnover of vehicles.
Summing up, planning team leader (Hamilton Area) Steven Clark told councillors: “On balance, we feel the impact is within acceptable limits. It would be inappropriate for the council not to find alternative parking. We would be subject to a lot of complaints if we didn’t do that.”
The plans for social housing at the former village hall site attracted 27 objection letters but planning chief Colin McDowall, in a document before councillors, stated the proposal had no significant adverse impact on residential amenity or road safety, and met with South Lanarkshire Local Plan and Local Development Plan policies.