A plan to build a new secondary school on the site of a local park has sparked a furious response from residents.

A new Lenzie Academy, which will replace the current building which has stood since 1886, has been in the works for several years.

East Dunbartonshire Council has been allocated funding from the Scottish Government to build a new school for 1,400 pupils on the site of Whitegates Park in Lenzie which was identified as the preferred site in September 2022.

The project is expected to cost £85million, with a target of opening to pupils no later than December 2027.

However, the proposal to build the school on the site of one of only two neighbourhood parks has been met with anger.

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Those campaigning to save the park have raised a number of issues with the proposed development.

In 2018 a feasibility study was carried out to explore the possibility of building an ASN school on the site.

It identified a number of issues with the Whitegates proposal, including the presence of toxic and phytotoxic contamination.

The report stated that "harmful gas emissions could be present at high concentrations" and that the area is "located within an area with a potential maximum radon of 5-10%".

It indicated that there were toxic exceedances of lead, nickel, benz(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(b)flouranthene, and dibenze(a,h)anthracene.

East Dunbartonshire Council said: "There will be a new intrusive Ground Investigation survey undertaken as part of the Lenzie Academy project that will inform the design and will be independently assessed as part of the planning application for the project."

Glasgow Times: Lenzie Academy

The feasibility study further found that a range of bird species "of conservation concern" including the willow warbler, mistle thrush and dunnoch.

There was also potential habitat for other species of conservation concern including the house sparrow, starling and tawny owl as well as at least 24 trees with bat roost potential.

The study also stated that the pond had "good habitat potential" for water vole, though no signs were detected.

East Dunbartonshire Council said: "The relevant ecology surveys continue to be undertaken on site and will inform detailed proposals to address issues such as ecological impact and biodiversity.

"Once complete these surveys will be independently assessed through the planning application process."

A petition to save the park has attracted more than 2,000 signatures, with the 2022 feasibility report noting that one of the challenges associated with the site would be the loss of a place which is "beneficial for the community to access nature".

The plans are currently in a statutory consultation period which will run until Wednesday June 19.

Local resident Wendy Maguire said: "Our children deserve the best site for their new Lenzie Academy. East Dunbartonshire’s preferred site, Whitegates park, is clearly not the best place to build a school.

"Restricted parking and access from the main road, flooding and toxic soil contamination mean we need to look again at the alternatives.

"This park, with its mature woodland and wildlife, plays a vital role in our community. East Dunbartonshire Council refers to Whitegates park as an asset - it is, and it’s one that should remain for generations to enjoy."