A CONTROVERSIAL decision to build new homes on green belt land has been ditched by planning bosses at Glasgow City Council

Locals in Carmunnock have described the U-turn as "a step in the right direction" for the local authority "not to go against its own policies". 

More than 100 residents had previously rejected an application submitted by Zoom Developments to build on the space between 48 and 66 Busby Road.

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Glasgow residents demand probe into 'green belt giveaway' for new homes

Objectors had aimed to preserve the “only” green land in the heart of the village. Concerns were also raised around the risk of flooding and the potential for traffic levels to increase as a result of the development. 

Their objection, was, however, overridden at a Planning Local Review Committee (PLRC) held in September after an appeal was submitted by the developers. 

The move to build four homes on the space sparked outrage among residents, who launched an online fundraiser to pay for legal costs as they revealed they would be taking the matter to court. 

Glasgow Times:

Now, celebrating campaign success, Carmunnock Community Council has said its members are glad that Glasgow City Council has "seen sense". 

Robert Cochrane, who is the group's vice-chair, said: “It is a major step in our campaign to save this special land from construction. 

“We are really glad that Glasgow City Council has seen sense and decided not to go against their own policies. 

“We have prevented planning on a very important part of land in our village. We couldn't have done that without the local community. 

“There were more than 100 objections to the bid and thousands were raised to pay for the court of session which would have cost tens of thousands. 

“The legal cost will still be large, but it won’t be nearly as much if the council had not conceded."

Glasgow Times:

The online crowdfunded raised more than £4000 to fund the overturn of the planning approval in court. 

Robert added: "It should not be up to citizens living in Carmunnock to fund these repeated battles from our own pockets – often with pensioners and families on low income contributing to the legal costs – in order to get Glasgow City Council and councillors to follow the council’s own policies."

The application for the houses was previously rejected by council chiefs due to the proposal being outwith the local authority’s development plan.

Going forward, Carmunnock Community Council will be looking to have the PLRC reformed in order to "bring some democracy back". 

Mr Cochrane added: "We will be working to see how we can reform the local review planning committee. We only have three councillors on it, which is completely undemocratic. 

“We will be looking to engage with the council on this to make bring some democracy back to the committee and to ensure something like this never happens again.

“This vital piece of green belt land could have been given away for construction. Our campaign to have this decision overturns shows the importance of community councils and community voices.” 

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow City Council said it could not comment on court matters.