PLANS to build 149 new houses just outside Neilston have been branded “disappointing”.
Neilston Community Council (NCC) chairman John Scott spoke out against construction firm Taylor Wimpey’s proposal to develop the 15-acre site near Neilston Road.
The company submitted a planning application to East Renfrewshire Council (ERC) which would see a range of two, three and four-bedroom homes built on the outskirts of the village.
Also included within the plans are a play area and tree-lined streets to protect urban greenspace to the west of the site, as well as the creation of a woodland belt to the east.
Planning permission in principle was granted for the site – which lies close to the A736 Lochlibo Road – in August 2015.
However, Mr Scott said the proposed development does not offer enough “affordable” homes and will damage the environment.
Though the issue is due to be discussed at NCC’s next meeting at the end of this month, Mr Scott was eager to offer his own view.
He said: “My personal opinion is that it is disappointing that another piece of greenbelt is going to be built over, with associated loss of mature hedgerows and wild shrubs.
“The Neilston Charter, which reflected the views of the residents, was in favour of stopping any further housing development outside the existing boundaries, but we are where we are.
“The best the community council can do is to ensure that the developers restore as much to the general ecology as they can through sensible planting and green landscaping.
“It is also unfortunate that there are only a total of 15 so-called ‘affordable’ houses being built: seven two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom, and all of these tucked into one corner of the estate – the ‘affordable area’ as the plans call it.
“With a high proportion of older residents, Neilston needs more two-bedroom properties and fewer four-bedroom ones.”
Mr Scott also raised concerns that a request made by NCC for orchids on the site to be removed by specialists from Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens had been ignored.
Stephen Andrew, technical director for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, said: “Taylor Wimpey is delighted to confirm that we have made a detailed planning application for the land off Neilston Road in Neilston.
“As well as an impressive range of new homes, our development would provide a range of economic benefits for the local Neilston area which includes supporting over 160 jobs per year of construction, as well as the attraction of new customers to local businesses.
“We believe this development would be a great addition to the local area.
“Our proposed development at Neilston would offer potential buyers access to a great place to call home that benefits from an exceptional range of local amenities which includes an impressive choice of schools including an ideal location that benefits from the catchment of Eastwood High School.”
A spokesman for ERC confirmed the site was not on greenbelt land and said: “This area is an identified housing site within the council’s Local Development Plan, adopted in June 2015.
“The application is at the very early stages and will be considered in the usual open and transparent way at a future planning application committee.
“There will be consultation undertaken with appropriate consultees, including Neilston Community Council.”
Any residents who want to share their view on the plans are asked to attend NCC’s next meeting at Glen Halls, Main Street on Tuesday, March 28. The meeting will start at 7pm.