Developers behind an “abhorrent” plan to build homes on greenbelt land in a Glasgow village have been criticised for “putting profit over the planet”.
Miller Homes is working on a scheme which could see new housing on the edge of Carmunnock, across the boundary between Glasgow and South Lanarkshire.
The firm, which claimed it takes its “environmental responsibilities very seriously”, has said it is currently considering options for the Kittochside Road site, and there is a “shortage of housing in the area”.
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Bailie Paul McCabe, SNP, who represents the Linn ward, said he has received “countless emails” from constituents who strongly object to the proposal.
“Carmunnock is the oldest and last remaining village in Glasgow,” he said. “It has a rich history and heritage dating back to the 6th century and I feel the proposal of a new housing development on greenbelt land jeopardises its integrity.
“I find the proposal to build houses on greenbelt land in Carmunnock abhorrent. I expect large house-builders like Miller Homes to show leadership in the challenges presented through climate change but it’s clear, with this proposal, Miller Homes are prioritising profit over the planet.”
It has not been revealed how many homes would be constructed, but community representatives, who attended consultation sessions, believe it could be around 100. Miller Homes, however, described the development as “small”.
As the site crosses the boundary of Glasgow and South Lanarkshire, it is expected applications would be made to both planning authorities. A proposal of application notice was submitted in Glasgow in October.
John Lawless, chair of Carmunnock Community Council, said: “Over the years, there has been disproportionate development in the village compared to other areas of the city, this proposal would increase the number of houses in the village by around 20%. There would also be more loss of green belt land.”
He said the community council strongly opposes Miller Homes’ proposal, which “on the face of it should fall at the first hurdle as it is at odds with the city plan and the city’s green belt policy”.
“However, we have experienced planning approval being given in the recent past, where a review committee ignored their own planning officials advice regarding the city’s policy.”
Mr Lawless said there was also poor access to the site by public transport and consultation sessions organised by the developer were “unsatisfactory”. “There was little detail on the development and their intention for the remainder of the site,” he added.
All four councillors for the Linn ward, which includes Carmunnock, have been contacted by concerned residents. Bailie Margaret Morgan, SNP, said she stands with the residents and “completely opposes” the development, in line with Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council policies.
Cllr Catherine Vallis and Cllr John Carson, Labour, said residents were concerned about “the protection of the greenbelt, road safety issues and their village status”.
They added: “We believe the people of Carmunnock and their concerns need to be treated seriously, and we will be supporting them through this process by working closely with local residents and by pressing the developers for answers.”
Bailie McCabe said the council’s strategic plan is clear: continue to “work to reduce vacant and derelict land, prioritising brownfield sites for development and ensuring adequate protection for greenbelt and designated open space”.
In response to the concerns, Miller Home said it takes its “environmental responsibilities very seriously and much planning and consideration is put into our developments to protect surrounding natural habitats for communities to continue to enjoy, as well as delivering quality, energy efficient homes”.
“At this time, we are simply considering planning options and there is no definitive path here,” a spokeswoman added. “However, we are aware of the shortage of housing in the area and this small development would deliver some much-needed support on this front.
“It is always our intention to have two-way dialogue when entering into planning consultation. We have already hosted two community events and met with the community council to agree our engagement approach.
“We are currently reviewing feedback from these events alongside our proposals and considering next steps. We would also be more than happy to meet local councillors in the new year.”
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