NEILSTON Bowling Club has hailed plans for a neighbouring housing development as a boost for the village.

Dawn Homes have officially applied for planning permission to build 149 houses and nine flats on land at Kirkton Road.

The proposals would see a range of three and four-bedroom houses being built across 23 acres of fields.

The move has not been welcomed by some locals who use the field, with a campaign group set up to lead the opposition.

However, Neilston Bowling Club treasurer Stewart Campbell said the campaign does not represent the full range of views within the village.

Mr Campbell, 72, contacted the Barrhead News to put across the position of the bowling club, which sits adjacent to the land on which developers wish to build.

He said: “We would like our opinion to be heard as well as those of others. This development will help local clubs like ourselves.

“We’ll receive new members from people who buy homes in the area, which helps our future, as well as that of other clubs.

“How can you say the loss of one field will be a detriment to the village when you’ve got seven miles of countryside between Neilston and Stewarton, as well as another five miles between Neilston and Newton Mearns?

“We don’t see that losing a field which is only used by dog walkers is of any great concern. We see it as a big advantage to have the development.”

Conceding that the bowling club sold a piece of land to Dawn Homes on the understanding that a development would go ahead, he added: “I’m not trying to deceive anybody. Our membership has talked about it and we see it as a development for the future.

“I’m not opposed to anyone running a campaign to make their own feelings felt but I can’t support it, as we would be very happy with the development, as I’m sure would others in Neilston.”

Other residents have argued the proposals would “destroy a free, beautiful and safe public space” and create “really significant” traffic problems in the area.

Campaigner Rachel Ferguson, of Craighall Quadrant, said: “We have collected nearly 700 signatures of opposition to this proposal and have full support from across the political spectrum in opposition.

“Development is good and necessary when it does not destroy the very reasons people want to live here – accessible roads and beautiful green space for all to enjoy.”