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The Children’s Wood – ‘keep up the pressure’

By on August 4, 2015

Emily Cutts is urging local people to keep up the fight in a crucial spell for the campaign to retain North Kelvin Meadow and the Children’s Wood as a green space and community resource.

The chairperson of the Children’s Wood says their latest petition – challenging the Glasgow City Development Plan to rezone the area for housing – has brought a response from the Scottish Government official dealing with the review of the Glasgow City Council plan.

The Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow, organisations working to maintain and cultivate this space as a ‘wild’ community garden and educational resource, have been campaigning on three fronts this summer.

This has involved, once again, objecting to  the application by New City Vision to build housing on the land, gathering support for their own plan to keep North Kelvin Meadow as a community woodland and garden – and objecting to the council’s Local Development Plan where the Meadow and Wood have been designated as housing supply land, under issue H023.

Emily, pictured at the weekend’s heritage and arts open day at Maryhill Burgh Halls, said: “With the Local Development Plan now gone to the Scottish Government, with the recommendation to zone the meadow and wood as housing, we need our voice to be heard. 

“The Scottish Government reporter in charge of this review has now asked Glasgow City Council to respond to our petition by 5pm on Thursday (August 6).

“So we are asking people to keep up the pressure – with the petition, the letters of support, and the objections to use of the land for housing. We know our petition is working.”

Background – North Kelvin Meadow and the Children’s Wood covers an area between Clouston, Sanda and Kelbourne Streets, in North Kelvinside and has become a multi-use community green space for local people over many years. It was previously the Clouston Street playing fields. Glasgow City Council aim 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. The Children’s Wood, a Scottish charity now working with many Glasgow schools in the delivery of outdoor learning programmes on the meadow, argue the council has 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 Review – According to the Scottish Government, this a two-stage process. The reporters appointed by Scottish Ministers have concluded the initial examination of conformity with the council’s participation statement and the examination of the proposed plan itself started on 23 July 2015.  The unresolved issues have been divided among a team of reporters who are now considering the representations to the plan.  Further information requests have been issued and site inspections will be undertaken where appropriate.  The reporters will decide what further information they need and whether any oral process will be required to enable them to prepare their report within the Ministerial target of six-nine months.

* The people of Maryhill and North Kelvin have been resisting plans to build on the meadow and wood – a former red blaes football pitch – for more than 20 years, with North Kelvin Meadow and later the Children’s Wood set up as a formal campaign over eight years ago. For more information on the meadow and the plans see northkelvinmeadow.com and thechildrenswood.com

Pic – Actor and Children’s Wood campaigner Tam Dean Burn at North Kelvin Meadow after the group was recognised in Scotland’s Greener Together Awards – where communities are celebrated and rewarded for their environmental action, part of the Scottish Government’s national campaign ‘Greener Together’

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