I’m keen to support local residents in their campaign to protect local green spaces and the Antonine Wall, and I hope that the Scottish Government Reporter will listen to both residents’ concerns and the democratic decision of the council.Ross Greer MSP
Local Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer has written to the Scottish Government’s planning Reporter, urging him to reject an appeal to extend Bearsden Golf Course. The Golf Club intends to extend its course beyond it’s current boundaries, enabling this by selling another portion of land on its current site for housing although a separate application to build housing was recently rejected by the council. In June this year, East Dunbartonshire Council rejected the application for extension of the course on the grounds of encroachment onto into the “buffer zone” around the Antonine Wall UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as concerns about impact on a Local Nature Conservation Site and the alterations to the local Core Path Network.
The Golf Club have lodged an appeal against this rejection, which will be considered by a Scottish Government planning Reporter. Developers have the right to appeal against any application which is rejected by councillors. This is a one-way privilege not extended to communities if developments they oppose are approved by councillors. Last year, an amendment to equalise the right of appeal, supported by Ross Greer and the Greens, was voted down following a deal in Parliament between the SNP and Conservatives.
Greer, a Bearsden resident and Scottish Green MSP for the West of Scotland commented:
“I’m keen to support local residents in their campaign to protect local green spaces and the Antonine Wall, and I hope that the Scottish Government Reporter will listen to both residents’ concerns and the democratic decision of the council.”
“But the fact we’re at this point shows how heavily skewed Scotland’s planning system is in favour of developers, not communities. Elected councillors decided to reject the plans on a twelve to six vote, but instead of going back to the drawing board and coming up with something which addresses residents’ concerns, the developer have gone over the heads of the council and asked an unelected government Reporter to force their plans though. I’ve asked the Reporter to listen to the concerns of residents and the basis on which councillors made their decision. If he does so, I am confident he will come to the right decision.”