ACTIVISTS began an occupation of derelict land where popular sitcom “Still Game” was filmed in a bid to ensure the site is used for social housing or a community buy out.

While council plans to sell the vacant lot have been delayed to give bidders additional time, campaigners from Living Rent and Wyndford Tenants Union are holding out for bosses to get around the table to discuss the future of the site.

Glasgow Times: Norman Cunningham from Living Rent at today's occupation of The ValleyNorman Cunningham from Living Rent at today's occupation of The Valley

Norman Cunningham, a committee member of the Wyndford Tenant’s Union believes that there should be a community buy out of the land. He said: “The reason we are still occupying is that we haven’t had any direct contact with the council for the last three months and there’s no definite date for when the sale will go ahead.

“The occupation is to raise local awareness of what’s going on with the land. We’ll be here until the bulldozers turn up. We will be here until the council agree to sit down and consult with the community.”

Following a public online meeting on Tuesday evening, the union held a community consultation offering three options: sell the land to a private developer, halt the sale and work with a local housing association to develop the land or investigate the prospect of a community buy out.

Norman added: "We’ve done a poll online from Monday night. We’ve had over 100 responses in two days and over 70% back community buy out. The whole idea of the buyout would be to build a community and not just homes.”

The additional time will mean that the local community will be able to come up with plans and funding sources for any potential buyout.

Norman went on to say: “We’ll be speaking to experts at the university to draw up plans for this. We have some ideas for the funding of it as well.

“We’re here for the long haul. We’re not going away and we’ll be here regardless of the weather.”

Glasgow Times: Living Rent activists erecting the gazebo for the occupationLiving Rent activists erecting the gazebo for the occupation

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council clarified that any decisions over the land were not made solely by the local authority.  

He said: “The deadline has been extended to allow interested parties (whose ability to submit bids may have been affected by the pandemic) as well as City Property, who are dealing with the sale on behalf of the Transforming: Community Partnership, more time to do so.

“Maryhill Transformational Regeneration Area (TRA) is a community-led regeneration project, with the local housing association key supporters of the proposals for the area. It is important to say that local groups and organisations support the plans for Collina Street and other areas within the TRA.”