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The Children’s Wood: George Square gathering to support planning decision

By on October 18, 2015

The Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow campaigners are heading to the City Chambers and George Square on Tuesday (October 20) morning to show support for the award-winning grassroots community initiative under threat of being sold off for housing development.

A Glasgow city council committee meeting on Tuesday will consider two planning applications – one from the Children’s Wood to create a community woodland and park, the other from New City Vision for a residential development.

Emily Cutts said: “We found out today the planning officer is recommending that both our plan and the NCV plan should be granted, subject to meeting certain conditions. Of course, if we do get planning permission this doesn’t equate to consent so there is still some way to go. But it would certainly be a very positive step if we get planning permission.

“We hope the planning committee accept the planning officers’ recommendation to accept our plan  and that they grant us a site visit and hearing before any decision is made on the NCV plan. We will be making placards for Tuesday’s George Square gathering asking that the planning committee make a site visit and grant us a hearing.

“Because we will not have an opportunity to speak at the hearing on Tuesday, we’re asking people to make placards requesting a site visit and a hearing and to show the level of support and engagement for the land and what happens on it.”

The old pitches – covering an area edged by Kelbourne Street, Sanda Street and Clouston Street – had not been maintained by the council since 1995 and as it became overgrown, provided a popular green space for people who lived nearby.

North Kelvin Meadow and the Children’s Wood was first properly established and named by volunteers around seven years ago.  Since then, the area has been transformed into what is now described as an “outdoor community centre” with the Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow initiatives gaining awards along the way.

Glasgow city council, however, have been aiming to progress plans to designate the area for housing, as part of issue H023 in the Glasgow City Local Development Plan and sell the space on to a developer.

But North Kelvin Meadow and the Children’s Wood, a Scottish charity now working with many schools in the delivery of outdoor learning programmes on the meadow, argue the council failed to follow its own policy of consultation on the re-use of former sports pitches and has failed to recognise the changed educational and community use of the meadow and wood.

The land at North Kelvin Meadow and the Children’s Wood is not only used used by local people for outdoor events and play, it is also used by 20 schools and nurseries, and four universities and colleges.

Among the resources and activities is a raised bed sensory garden, the growing of fresh produce in association with Maryhill Food Bank and Maryhill Integration Network, outdoor playgroups, a green gym, forest school, training programmes for volunteers and education resources for teachers.

Emily Cutts added: “North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood has become an essential part of the community, helping to meet 21st century educational and community needs like tackling low levels of child wellbeing, the achievement gap, food poverty, mental and physical health problems and much more.

“If we take away the meadow and wood then the impact will be enormous on the wider community. We have plans to do more for the community and build on what we have achieved already and we could do so much more with the council’s support. We are helping to deliver their strategic plan and we hope that they recognise this.”

* North Kelvin Meadow and the Children’s Wood are asking people to dress in green for the George Square gathering and to meet outside the City Chambers at 10.45am. There will be a bus leaving the meadow and wood at 10.15am. 

 

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