A LANDOWNER in Uplawmoor is appealing to the local community for ideas on how to develop a sprawling site.

Charles Kinniburgh, CEO of Angus (Asbestos Removal) Ltd, owns a large area of woodland, including the former site of Shilford Quarry.

Previously owned by Leggat Builders, the land was sold to his dad James, of Burnthills Demolition Ltd, Johnstone, who used it for landfill in the 1980s.

It has remained unused ever since.

After James died in 2009, ownership of the land passed to Charles, who recently began looking into possible uses for it.

As he now lives in Abu Dhabi, in the Middle East, he arranged for a notice to be posted on the board at Mure Hall, encouraging anyone with ideas to develop the land – “commercial or otherwise” – to get in touch with him by email.

Shortly after the notice was posted, rumours began to circulate in Uplawmoor that the land was being considered for either a paintball park or caravan site.

However, Charles told the Barrhead News he is keeping all options open and, at this stage, is just seeking suggestions.

He said: “I would like to do something with the site that would benefit the local community.

“If it is possible to do something without planning permission or create some kind of development that would require planning consent, I am willing to keep the options open.

“There are some nice mature trees on the land but most are scrubs and of little purpose. We have approached Scottish Woodlands, who have stated that the land is not good for planting trees.

“If we can generate some good ideas for the land, I would be happy, rather than it becoming overgrown and disused.”

East Renfrewshire Council said the land cannot be used for housing but there are still a number of ways in which it could be developed.

A spokesperson added: “This area of Uplawmoor is part of the greenbelt, which is identified in the council’s Local Development Plan.

“The site is also in a tree preservation area and is a local biodiversity site.

“This means that any development on the site is controlled, restricted and must be appropriate for a rural setting.

“However, our policy states that, following the correct processes, the land could be built on for agricultural, forestry, renewable energy and outdoor recreational purposes if it is deemed fit for purpose.

“We are aware of residents’ concerns regarding a former mineshaft and, in the event of a formal application plan being submitted, this concern would be evaluated.”

Rob Williams, chair of Uplawmoor Community Council, said: “We will continue to work closely with our councillors and members of East Renfrewshire Council to monitor any proposed changes.

“We will strongly challenge any plans that are not in keeping with the quiet, rural nature of the village, particularly given it’s one of the few remaining areas of wild woodland left.”