Campaigners have vowed to fight any plans for development at a popular Barrhead beauty spot after part of it was sold at auction.

A mystery buyer paid more than £200,000 to snap up the Boylestone Quarry area of the Fereneze Braes last week.

A campaign group – Fereneze Braes of Barrhead – has been launched in a bid to block any future development, amid fears that could destroy wildlife there.

Barrhead News: Kirsty Menzies is among those who are opposed to any development at the Fereneze Braes site. Image: NewsquestKirsty Menzies is among those who are opposed to any development at the Fereneze Braes site. Image: Newsquest (Image: Image: Newsquest)

Kirsty Menzies, who is among those determined to preserve the 32-acre site, told the Barrhead News: “We will fight any plans to convert the area for housing or landfill, as has been previously suggested.

“The ecological value of the site is amazing and local people walk around the area with their dogs.”

The 32-acre site borders Gleniffer Braes Country Park, Fereneze golf course and Brownside Avenue.

Boylestone Quarry, which is disused, dates back 340 million years and has been designated as a site of special scientific interest.

Kirsty, 55, said she would have liked a community buyout to be organised in order to preserve that part of the Braes for local people but there was not enough time to do this.

In 2018, plans to build houses on the site were unveiled but later dropped after objections from campaigners.

Barrhead News: Harelaw Burn. Image: NewsquestHarelaw Burn. Image: Newsquest (Image: Image: Newsquest)

Kirsty said: “We are against any development of this site, which is also of great geological significance.

“I am trying to get people together to prepare for when the inevitable planning applications come in.

“It is a wildlife area with a lot of rare and protected species that would be badly affected.”

Boylestone Quarry was originally dug for copper and also produced small quantities of silver. It is now popular with mountain bikers and mineral hunters.

Future Property Auctions, which marketed the land for sale, said it could be used for housing or as a “waste transfer” site.

Bidding, which took place on Thursday, started at £35,000. No information on the new owners has been released.

A spokesperson said: “There was a lot of interest in the Boylestone Quarry site from buyers who seemed to want it for all kind of different things.”

East Renfrewshire MP Kirsten Oswald is seeking answers about the new owners.

A spokesperson said: “Kirsten has heard from a number of constituents who are concerned about any potential changes which could impact on wildlife and biodiversity at this site.”