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Daily Record
Daily Record
Judith Tonner

Green light for North Lanarkshire housing development

A development of 25 new council flats is to be constructed in Airdrie after planning committee members this week gave the green light for the project.

The one- and two-bedroomed homes will be built on an area of amenity open space at Gibb Street in Chapelhall, as part of North Lanarkshire’s ongoing scheme to create 5000 houses for rent across the authority area by 2035.

Seven objections were submitted by residents concerned about the loss of a designated green network site; but councillors unanimously agreed with planners’ assessment that “the benefits of providing new social housing” outweighed the loss and noted that there is “other open space in the vicinity”.

Chapelhall’s new houses will consist of 16 four-in-a-block cottage flats plus a further three-storey building containing nine properties; and three of the ground-floor flats are to be designed for wheelchair users.

The buildings and their garden space will be arranged along the west and south of the site, around a 45-space parking court, with road access being taken from Gibb Street between the existing play area and local shop.

A report for councillors noted: “The development was scaled back from the original plan so that only around half of the site would be developed and the remainder would stay as open space, the quality of which would be enhanced by landscape [and] ecology improvements.”

It added that the existing play area will remain in place unaffected, and that there will be a new vehicle barrier installed between it and the access road; and added: “Although the site has been used as open space for many years, it was always owned by the housing service as opposed to being a formal public park.

The site at Gibb Street was officially identified for housing in 2019 following consultation with councillors and the authority’s tenant federation; a public consultation last year resulted in nine objections regarding loss of open space and privacy, while two responses supported development to provide new houses and tackle existing fly-tipping problems.

Objections to the formal planning application included concerns about the loss of “the only significant area of open space in the vicinity”, described as being “well used by local residents for recreation, including children’s games, football, golf practice, sledging and dog walking” – as well as setting an “undesirable precedent” by building on green space.

The planning report concluded: “Most of the objections were in response to the original proposal which would have involved development of the whole site, whereas the amended proposal would now retain the eastern half as open space.

“It is acknowledged that the proposal would result in a reduction in the amount of open space and reduce its potential for some recreational uses; however, there are several nearby areas of open space in Chapelhall, including the play area and multi-use games area immediately north-west of the site, smaller grass areas at George Street and Melrose Avenue, and extensive publicly-owned woodland walking routes to the north.”

The existing footpath through the site is to be retained and realigned; and councillors granted permission for the project after unanimously agreeing that the development’s “proposed design and layout would provide an attractive residential environment in keeping with the character of the area, and that there would be no significant detriment to the amenity of neighbouring properties”.

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