Local MP Jo Swinson and Councillor Gary Pews met recently with senior directors from CALA Homes to express concerns over the company’s plans to build 135 new homes near the canal at Jellyhill, Bishopbriggs.
CALA’s proposals, submitted in January 2017, met with widespread opposition from the community, including 569 letters of objection. East Dunbartonshire Council’s Planning Board unanimously rejected the application. However, CALA appealed and the Scottish Government Reporter refused to hold a public hearing and has stated his intention to grant planning permission for the development.
Commenting, Jo said:
“Many local people have written to me with concerns over the proposed development at Jellyhill, and there has been strong opposition to the proposals from right across the community.
“At the meeting with CALA directors, I raised residents’ concerns about the density of the proposed development, subsistence, sink holes, and the impact of increased traffic, as well as the negative visual impact that taller properties could have on the environment.
“I stressed repeatedly the importance of proper communication and dialogue with the community on the proposals. The level of public engagement from CALA so far has been deeply disappointing, with only one public meeting just four days before the planning application was submitted. This is simply not good enough.
“More generally, the current planning system favours developers, rather than the local communities. It is vital that voices of residents can be heard, and so I will be writing to the Scottish Government separately to push for changes to the Planning Bill which would give communities the option to appeal further if there are concerns over a proposed development.
“Liberal Democrat MSPs have consistently made the case for decisions to be made closer to the people affected by them - local authorities and local communities - and they have consistently argued against the SNP's centralisation agenda which has seen power and decision making stripped from them and hoarded in Edinburgh instead.”
Note to editors: CALA’s economic impact study findings can be viewed at: https://www.cala.co.uk/land-and-planning/planning-applications/meadowburn,-bishopbriggs.