Member of Parliament for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East Stuart McDonald has today criticised East Dunbartonshire Council’s saying they have left themselves open to accusations of double standards over a controversial planning decision.
It follows their decision last week to reject a planning application to build 140 homes on greenbelt on the outskirts of Torrance. However a matter of weeks previous to this the Council had approved a very similar development, also on greenbelt, at Redmoss Farm in Milton of Campsite, in the face of concerted local opposition.
In November the Council granted permission for the development, consisting of 80 houses being built on land previously protected as greenbelt. They received 669 objections and a petition opposing the application was signed by 333 local residents.
The rejected Torrance development received 178 objections.
Commenting on the matter Mr McDonald said:
“While no two planning applications are exactly the same, I think that the similarities between these two applications are striking.
“Both were seeking to build scores of houses on land which has been designated as greenspace. Both were met with considerable local opposition, raising legitimate concerns about the ability of local transport and services such as schools being able to cope with such developments.
“In acting in this inconsistent manner and by ignoring the concerns of hundreds of local residents the Council has left itself open to accusations of applying double standards.
“I also believe that we have the greenspace designations for a number of very good reasons.
“I fail to see how the alleged benefits of this development will outweigh the loss of this greenspace and how the Council can justify ignoring the concerns of so many local residents.
“I am glad that the concerns of those opposed to the development near Torrance have been listened to but the Council must explain why their concerns meant more than the people of Milton of Campsie.”