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Village greenspace must be protected

The historic village of Neilston risks “disappearing” within a few years unless urgent action is taken to stem the surge of new housing and wind farm developments.

That’s the claim from the newly-formed Uplawmoor Road Action Group, which has been spurred to protest by a plan by Lynch Homes to build 84 houses on two fields close to former mill cottages.

The group echoes concerns by Neilston Community Council chairman John Scott that because of what he argues is lack of protection from the area’s development plan Barrhead and Neilston will become a single conurbation within the space of a few years.

He told the Barrhead News this called into question the whole basis of Neilston’s village Charter, and urged local people to get involved with the issue.

Meanwhile Uplawmoor protesters against the expansion of wind farms say they’re surprised to find East Ren Council hasn’t objected to the planned Harelaw turbine scheme, which straddles East Ren and East Ayrshire – unlike East Ayrshire Council.

It’s feared the cumulative effect of new housing schemes and renewables projects will be to turn the area into “just another suburb” while making life intolerable for residents forced to live beside heavy traffic and noisy turbines.

Commenting on the Lynch Homes plan, a spokesman for the Uplawmoor Road Action Group said: “These proposals and others in the current Local Development Plan, if approved, will change the character of the village forever.

“We need to protect our green spaces, currently well used and much loved by walkers, fishermen, children – and abundant wildlife.”

The group say its vital for local people concerned at looming major changes to find out exactly what’s planned before it’s too late.

A representative of Lynch Homes will be giving a presentation to Neilston Community Council in the Glen Halls at 7pm on Tuesday next week (October 25).

The proposals for East Renfrewshire Council’s new Local Development Plan, claimed set to see new housing on greenbelt land more than double the size of Neilston, is also on the meeting’s agenda.

Meanwhile a public exhibition staffed by the developers will be held at Neilston Library on Wednesday, November 16, between 11am and 8pm.