Plans to develop social housing in Hamilton have been given the go-ahead despite traffic-related concerns.
South Lanarkshire councillors approved the proposal to develop 37 houses and 16 flats for the social housing sector on Meikle Earnock Road despite worries over traffic disruption.
The homes are part of the Hamilton Community Growth area and plans will see road changes and landscaping to accommodate for the new development.
Issues were raised surrounding the lack of public transport, the increased footfall in the area and the disruption to neighbouring homes.
Councillor David Shearer (Clydesdale West), questioned if there will be adequate public transport for the new development. He said: “I’d just like to ask if any thought has been put into public transport from this site into the town centre?”
Council officers confirmed that there has been thought put into the Hamilton Community Growth Area as a while and the road within the development.
Meikle Earnock Road, has been constructed with bus infrastructure and it is anticipated that some local services will be extended closer to the site.
Councillor Mary Donnelly (Hamilton West and Earnock), expressed concerns around the increase in traffic on the road, and she said: “I’m just mindful about the road up there.
"We already had discussions with the roads department and the community council have raised real problems with the amount of footfall and cars up there.
"So I would support David’s point on public transport going forward but to also be mindful that the community council has been in conversations with us in regards to some of the issues that they’ve had.”
Councillor Helen Toner welcomed the social housing aspect but raised the issue of the disruption from construction traffic to existing residents.
She said: “I actually know the area well, it’s just in my ward, there are a lot of problems with the development up there.
"I really welcome the fact that it is social housing because we absolutely need more social houses so that’s absolutely fantastic. However the road is exceptionally busy because there’s development all the way down that road.
“I’m mindful of the properties that are further towards the Muttonhole Road, they’re having quite significant disruption to their lives with the lorries coming up and down to the sites further down, and I’m just concerned that while we really want the social housing and while it’s great to see all the development up there, theres not alot of consideration taken for the people that are already there and further down the road.”
Council officers addressed this concern and are looking how to monitor and ease conditions for existing residents effectively and minimise any disruption as best they can.
Councillor Davie McLaughlan (Hamilton North and East) questioned if there would be anything done to the road beyond the development which has deteriorated.
He said: “It’s a very welcomed development, particularly the social housing aspect. I was speaking to the developer yesterday and they are keen to get the development started as soon as possible if it is granted.
“I think it may have been discussed before that the road leading up to the estate and continuing beyond that, when you go past the existing dwellings there the road gets very narrow, it’s a very narrow road, almost a single track and I’m wondering if there’s anything we’re going to do with that road to make it safer, the road that is left between the development and past Muttonhill Road?”
There will be a roundabout constructed which will lead onto Strathaven Road, and there is a contribution from the developers to carry out some road improvements so this could be something the council can work with developers to achieve.
Council officers recommended approval of the development as it relates to the creation of a high-quality housing development on a vacant site which will provide affordable accommodation for the social rented sector.
The homes will be a mix of two, three and four bedroom homes and there will be new vehicular and pedestrian access to the development as well as from Meikle Earnock Road and other pedestrian and transport links into the wider community growth area.
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