Overview 

The proposal to destroy the Douglaston greenbelt as proposed by British Land could have several serious consequences for both local Milngavie residents and the wider area more generally. It could significantly reduce the quality of life of Milngavie by reducing the high-quality natural surroundings, undermining its small-town character and by destroying its rural setting.

The LoveDougalston campaign have prepared the following arguments twhich can be included in any responses to the planning authority.

 

Rich history and heritage  

The Dougalston greenbelt is a unique area for both historical and environmental reasons. The earliest records of Dougalston date from the 13th century. By the mid-18th century Dougalston had a formal designed landscape of rectilinear, tree-lined enclosures and a grand avenue leading south from the Dougalston house. Approaching the mid-19th century Dougalston was a large estate well-endowed with planting, parkland and buildings. Although the Dougalston house was demolished in the mid-20th century to make way for the golf course the landscape has been largely preserved making it a jewel in the environmental crown of both Milngavie and Greater Glasgow.  

 

LoveDougalston object to any proposals for the development of land at Dougalston Gold course because:

  • The proposal would have an adverse impact on the historic garden and designed landscape and set a precedent for development within environmental designations.  
  • The area has high landscape value including, a historic gardens and designed landscape with remnant features including woodland policies, boundary walls, the remains of an old walled garden, dovecot, designed lochs and a Ha-Has.  
  • Housing would have an adverse effect on the open vista of the golf course, particularly around the dovecot and trees covered by the tree preservation orders. 

 

Both a natural wonderland and key greenbelt defence  

Having been preserved for many years the Douglaston greenbelt is a wonderful area hosting a wide variety of plant life and wildlife. Indeed, some trees are over 200 years old and it has been estimated that there are over 40 different species on birdlife alone on this site.  

  • The development will breach nature conservation policies as Dougalston Estate is a designated Local Nature Conservation Site; 
  • The site is an area of semi natural woodland, wetland, heathland and grassland and this varied habitat contains many species and this development would affect this biodiversity. It would not consolidate existing woodland and wetland habitat. 
  • The development will result in significant loss of biodiversity and adverse impact on the Local Nature Conservation Site which covers the area and Tree Preservation Orders.  
  • The development would damage important wildlife habitat, including healthy and historic trees, flora, birds, insects and small mammals including Protected Species; 
  • The proposal is in contravention of the East Dunbartonshire Biodiversity plan adopted by the Council; 
  • The ground proposed is unsuitable and development would have an adverse effect as parts of it are very marshy and unique wetland. 
  • It is inappropriate to develop a site which has woodland and high biodiversity value; 
  • The loss of woodland reduces climate change mitigation. 
  • The reduction in trees and shrubs would have an adverse impact on the ozone of the wider area. 
  • The proposal is in contravention of national green belt policy; 
  • The land release would reduce the defensiveness of the green belt as the current boundary is robust. 
  • The development would result in random, isolated extensions to the urban area and there is a significant concern about setting a precedent for future release and piecemeal erosion of green belt.

 

Recreation for all generations  

Given its rich history and wonderful natural habitat Dougalston is much loved by locals and Glaswegians, Dougalston is heavily used by all generations for walking, cycling, horse riding, running and enjoying nature and acts as the “lungs” of Milngavie. British Land’s webinar claim that Douglaston is not being well used by the local population is patently untrue as is their webinar claim that their proposal will use the greenfield land in a more effective way.    

  • The Dougalston greenbelt is valued and used for recreation, walking running, horse riding & cycling and has a positive impact on health & wellbeing. (This is hard to spot from the British Land London office!) 
  • The proposal would have an adverse impact on the setting of the Dougalston Woodland Walk, a publicised attraction for the town; 
  • The area is a safe place for children to play and experience the outdoor environment, which would be lost if this housing development was allowed; 
  • The development would reduce the amenity value of the area for healthy green outdoor exercise. It would result in potential loss of pedestrian and cycle paths through site 
  • This development would reduce the amenity of a popular and well used golf course as it would be degraded from an 18 hole to a 9-hole golf course  

 

Overloading already overloaded local infrastructure  

Given the development at Kilmardinny the number of houses in the Milngavie areas has grown significantly without a commensurate increase in the Milngavie infrastructure. Although there is a need for the provision of affordable housing there are adequate brown field sites available in Milngavie for this.  

The British Land proposal should not be included in the proposed LDP because:  

  • Services such as libraries, doctors, public transport and schools will not be able to cater for the development.  
  • The relative remoteness of the area and the steep hill between the proposed development and the village, plus the absence of public transport will result in an increase in traffic volumes.  
  • Neither Baldernock Road nor Dougalston Avenue have the capacity for increased traffic. Baldernock Road is largely single track and is widely used for walking and cycling.
  • There is limited capacity in schools to accommodate additional children. 
  • There is inadequate sewerage, utility, roads and drainage capability. 
  • If there is to be further housing development it should be on brown field sites.  

 

NOTE: These are the views of Love Douglaston, a non-partisan campaign led by local residents

 

Who should the Representation Letters be sent to? 

 

Emails should be sent to:

development.plan@eastdunbarton.gov.uk

We would appreciate it if you could also bcc info@lovedougalston.co.uk.

 

Letters can be addressed to:

Land Planning Policy

Broomhill Industrial Estate

Kilsyth Road

Kirkintilloch

G66 1TP

 

Please entitle any correspondence as:

'Proposed LDP2 Representation S337 Dougalston Golf Course