Please sign our petition to designate the meadow and wood as a greenspace

Our objections to the designation of the meadow and wood as housing land have been unreasonably ignored by the planning authority. The Local Development Plan has now gone for review to the Scottish Government with the recommendation to zone as housing. Our voice must now be heard by the Reporter in charge of this review. Please sign and share our petition to show the strength of opinion that the meadow and wood should be zoned as greenspace.

SIGN PETITION

More information

In the Glasgow City Local Development Plan, the Meadow and Wood have been designated as housing supply land, under issue H023. The local community has written numerous objections to this designation, arguing for H023 to be removed and the land designated as green space. The planning authority has responded to these objections, recommending no change to their designation. The summary below explains in brief the case for changing the designation to green space. After that, we argue against the planning authority’s response, demonstrating that the Council has failed to follow its own policy on sports pitches and failed to recognise the changed educational and community use of the Meadow and Wood.

Summary

The land in question has always been open space for educational and community use, and it should remain so. Twenty years ago and more, this use was sport-oriented – football, athletics and tennis. Re-purposed by the local community over a 20-year period of council neglect, it is now a wild natural space meeting 21st century educational and community needs: instead of sport, 15 local schools and nurseries within walking distance have been supported by community volunteers to use it to satisfy Curriculum for Excellence outdoor learning directives; multiple weekly volunteer-led activities satisfy Glasgow City Council’s own Play Strategy; and the local community use it as an “outdoor community centre”, growing fresh produce, exercising, and putting on community events. In the 1990s, housing on the site was rejected by the Council’s planners principally on the grounds of insufficient alternative sports facilities in the area. Now, the precedent of that rejection is as valid as ever – no suitable replacement can be offered for this unique, re-purposed, wild space. Far from being “surplus to requirements” as the Council seem to believe, the site is a vital irreplaceable part of educational and community life in this area.

Rebuttal of the planning authority’s argument to retain H023

The planning authority’s argument runs as follows:

1. The site is viewed as constituting red blaes pitches.

2. The 1996 Miller Homes planning application was rejected due to the lack of provision of alternative local sporting facilities to replace the lost amenity, as required by the sports pitch / open space policies in force at the time.

3. In April 2007, the Council’s Executive Committee approved the Sports Pitch Strategy Policy and Implementation Plan.

4. Using this Policy, the cause of the Miller Homes rejection has now been resolved, as follows. In November 2007, “the report” [unnamed and unreferenced] recommended that “the receipt from the sale of the Clouston Street site would be allocated to the upgrading of the existing North Kelvinside pitches” and noted that this decision was made “after consultation and agreement with sportscotland, in compliance with the requirements of Scottish Planning Policy.”

5. The Council view only recent activity on the site as community involvement in its management – referring to “temporary occupation”, and therefore not significant in this determination.

In summary, given that there is now an agreement on providing alternative sporting provision for the loss of the site, the Miller Homes rejection cannot be used in argument against housing on the land.

This is the principal argument made by the planning authority for including the site in the housing land supply for City Plan 3, to which we are objecting. The remainder of their lengthy argument refers to particulars of the current live application by New City Vision to build on the land and is as such irrelevant to issues of site designation in City Plan 3.

Rebuttal of the planning authority’s argument for H023 is as follows:

1. Section 8.5 of Glasgow City Council’s Sports Pitches Strategy (Release of Blaes Pitches) states:

It should be recognised however that sports pitches also act as informal recreational green spaces with value for amenity and informal outdoor use. Any proposals to dispose of sports pitches should be subject to consultation with local communities [our emphasis], and require a determination by Council that these pitch spaces are not required as part of any other open space function [our emphasis].

2. The planning authority claim that consultation took place with sportscotland, but according to the Council’s own policy and strategy, this is insufficient – “consultation with local communities” is required.

3. Nobody in our community can remember such a consultation taking place around 2007. We have asked our councilors to provide evidence of such a consultation, but they have not been able to provide it.

4. We conclude therefore that no such consultation ever took place.

5. Furthermore, according to Section 8.5, the Council is required to determine that the site is “not required as part of any other open space function”.

6. We are unclear how the Council made this determination. The Council view recent activity on the land over the last eight years as “temporary occupation”, perhaps of a semi-formal manner. However, they are clearly unaware that, from when the site was closed as a school sporting area, the local community was using it continually for informal recreation of exactly the kind referred to in the Sports Pitch Strategy. The Inquiry Reporter for the Miller Homes appeal noted in his point 13 that “with an increasing population, the current proposal will remove a valuable community resource. Despite the official view, this site was used regularly by local groups…”.

7. In considering the drafting of City Plan 3, assumably in 2013-14, it would be impossible to consider the site as not being used for “any other open space function.” It was a major venue in the West End Festival. It had won numerous awards. Local schools and nurseries were using the site regularly. Regular events and activities were being hosted by local volunteers. Raised bed allotments were in use. Local citizens used the site for informal recreation.

8. Finally, neither in 2007 nor now, could the site be construed to consist of red blaes pitches. The site was/is grassed over, containing hundreds of trees in many areas sufficiently tall and thick to be referred to as woodland. As such, the refurbishing of the North Kelvinside pitches using the receipt from the sale of this site cannot satisfy the precedent set by the refusal of the Miller Homes application in 1996 – that the local community should be properly compensated for the loss of this open space. Refurbished sports pitches already available to the community cannot be considered as a like-for-like replacement for a unique wild green educational and community space.

On the basis, therefore, of the Council’s failures to exercise its own Sports Pitch Strategy correctly and to recognise the site’s radically altered function for the local community, we call on the Reporter to remove H023 from the local development plan and to redesignate the site on the Glasgow Open Space map as Natural/Semi-natural Green Space or Permanent Green Space.

Wider Concerns with the Planning Authority’s response to our objections to H023

We are surprised that a large proportion of the planning authority’s response justifies the appropriateness of a single planning application live on the site – from New City Vision – and the Council’s intention for building on the site. We understand that the development of a City Plan lays the planning context within which individual applications should be considered. Indeed, the planning authority has rejected a number of our objections to the H023 designation on exactly this basis – that they would be addressed via the planning application process.

On this point, we reject the view that some issues can be left to the planning process. The current density of existing housing in this area can only rise, not fall, and so should be used during the development of a City Plan to determine whether additional housing in this area will have an effect on traffic, local services, pollution, and conservation areas. As noted already, the Inquiry Reporter for the Miller Homes appeal remarked in his point 13 that “with an increasing population, the current proposal will remove a valuable community resource.” That was in 1996. In the last five years, the local population has or will be significantly increased again, with the Queen Margaret Appartments development, the Oban Drive development, building on the old BBC site just off Queen Margaret Drive and the recent planning application on the site of the old North Kelvinside church on Kelbourne Street. No additional community resource provision has come with any of these developments.

The planning authority repeatedly uses the argument that the site has been on the housing land supply list since 1995, when the Council noted the land as surplus to requirements. However, the development of a City Plan should not depend solely on precedent, but, as argued above, on the prevailing needs and wishes of the community and the surrounding area at the time of development.

Additional arguments in the Inquiry Reporter’s rejection of the Miller Homes appeal have been overlooked by the planning authority in their response

· As noted above, the Reporter noted that significant recent building had taken place in the area with no open space compensation. This situation is exactly the same today – with the QM Apartments, the Oban Drive and BBC developments and the proposals in place for the old North Kelvinside church site.

· In his point 14, he notes that the proposed children’s play area should not be viewed as compensation. He writes “Although it is suggested that the proposed children’s play facilities would be available for use by neighbourhood children, that cannot be guaranteed. If the new residents require to maintain the amenity areas, they could resent use by “outsiders” and difficulties could arise.” The Council is still using the argument of a proposed play area as compensation. In a letter from the Chief Execute Annemarie O’Donnell to Patrick O’Grady MP dated 5th June 2015, she writes that “the application currently being considered does include a publically accessibly amenity and informal play area”. The area she notes is tiny and surrounded on all sides by the new development.

PAN 65: Planning and Open Space emphasises that, in preparing Open Space strategies which inform development plans, the open space needs and desires of the local community must be established. It notes that attention should be paid to the aspirations of all communities and interests including children. In the case of this site, the open space desires of the local community have so far been ignored.

Overall, we do not understand the Council’s apparent obsession to build on this site. It has never been built on and has always served local educational and community needs. For 20 years, in the absence of Council management, the local community has worked tirelessly to both maintain the site and find creative ways for it to continue to serve as an educational and community resource. These are not random, temporary efforts. Instead, this is a continuous community engagement, self-funded, resulting in the creation of registered charities and, most recently, the submission of their own planning application in an attempt to end the repeated barrage of action against their wishes.

SIGN PETITION

Support plans for community woodland and garden

Support the plans to keep North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood as a community woodland and garden, by writing or emailing Ian Briggs, quoting the reference number 15/01223/DC

Development and Regeneration Services
Glasgow City Council
231 George Street
Glasgow
G1 1RX
planning.representations@drs.glasgow.gov.uk

Find out more about the Children’s Wood alternative here

You can also object to the New City Vision plans to build 90 residences on North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood. More information here

An Alternative?

We believe that North Kelvin Meadow should be preserved as a wild space for future generations.  As such we have begun work with a local architect on our own planning application.  At the moment it is at a conceptual level seeking approval as ‘planning in principle’, submitted in response to the recent NCV application to show the council there is an alternative.  Read more about this activity here; we are very conscious that this future vision should be one shared by, and relevant to, the community as a whole, and so are always open to comments and suggestions which can be submitted here (cwconsultation@gmail.com).  Current feedback is also provided based on our engagement events, and one to one discussions.

Great Food Festival and Gala

Great Food Festival and Gala
Sunday 7th June 2015

Come and join us on a fruit and vegetable inspired day to celebrate the International Year of Soils. Children and other lovers of the green stuff can come dressed as their favourite fruit or vegetable. Choose your healthy superpower and take part in the runner bean race! Other highlights include fruit and vegetable tasting by ASDA, bug themed activities by Knit Wild, and workshops on ‘growing your own produce/composting’ and Permaculture.

The Annual Dog Show is once again supported by McDonald Vets with the following categories:
‘Best trick for a biscuit’
‘Children’s Favourite’
‘Waggiest tail’
Remember to email your entries to: childrens.wood.dog.show@gmail.com

Entertainment will be provided by The Barrow Band supported by Albert Bartlett http://www.thebarrowbandlive.co.uk/
and Little House of La https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cDMp4Dw3BU

10 am The gala activites and stalls open
• Blind Tasting of Fruit and Vegetables by ASDA (until 2 pm)
• KnitWild 10-12.30 and 2-4pm
• Try Permaculture
• Home Baking and BBQ
• Decorate your own cup
• Balloons by Chris
• Facepainting by Emily and Daisy
• ScuiffyDesigns and Design by Shiona
• Register for the Costume Competition and Runner Bean Race at Children’s Wood Stand
• Stalls by the Green Part, Maryhill Mobile Creche, Maryhill Foodbank and Holly Berry

11 am Runner Bean Race
• Who can pass the runner bean to your team the quickest?
• Followed by other vegetable inspired activities
Supported by Albert Bartlett

12 noon The Barrow Band performing by the marquee
Supported by Albert Bartlett

1 pm The 3rd Annual Dog Show in the marquee
Supported by McDonald Vets and Wizard of Paws

2 pm Little House of La performing in the marquee

3 pm ‘Grown your Own’ and Composting workshop
by North Kelvin Meadow

3.30pm Winner of the best dressed Fruit & Vegetable Announced – Supported by Wholefoods Supermarket

4 pm Event Closes

MP Patrick Grady sends letters to the Council and Government

Our new MP Patrick Grady came to meet with us on North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood. He has written to both the Government and the Council asking for various questions to be answered.

Patrick comments

“Having visited the site on a number of occasions, and seeing it well used by constituents and the wider public, it seems clear to me that the North Kelvin Meadow is a valuable asset to the local community and the wider Glasgow North area. I believe it is important that the City Council does all that it can to protect important green spaces in the city. There is a clear feeling among the community that too much land is being given over to development when local residents, especially children and young people, need and want to spend more time outdoors for recreation and exercise. I believe that the Council must consider this when deciding on the applications that exist for the site, and prioritise plans that preserve green and wild space for the use of the whole community.”

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Update on New City Vision planning application to build 90 residences on North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood.

The good news is that the time for objecting to New City Vision’s plan has been extended. This is because neighbour notification letters haven’t yet been issued. Once neighbours have been notified we’ll have a further 28 days to object. You can access more information about how to object here

Market of Ideas

Sharing spaces, creating a more equal society through placemaking.

The Children’s Wood and the Goethe-Institut Glasgow are organising a Market of Ideas to encourage discussion around the topic of inequality in communities all over Europe, Saturday 30th May. Join local activists and experts to discuss how shared spaces can help create a more equal society. There will be local, national and international initiatives participating and opportunities for discussion.

Timetable 10am-6pm
Keynote talks 10am-12:30pm in Kelvin College

Bill Kerry, UK
The Equality Trust works to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing economic inequality. They analyze and disseminate the latest research, promote robust evidence-based arguments and support a dynamic network of campaign groups across the country.http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/about-us

Marguerite Hunter Blaire, Play Scotland
Play Scotland is the National organisation for play in Scotland, working to promote the importance of play for all children and young people, and campaigns to create increased play opportunities in the community.
http://www.playscotland.org

The Children’s Wood http://www.thechildrenswood.com

INtransit North West European projects
Stockholm
An initiative by young people for young people from Skärholmen, an outer Stockholm district with about 80% of the people having a migration background. They organize festivals, have educational programs and raise awareness of political issues amongst young people from the area. Through their initiatives, Mitt127 succeeded in creating a local community where everyone is welcome. http://mitt127.se/

Dublin
Dublin’s largest inner city organic community farm. The aim of the Garden farm is to harness the production and provision of organic food as a resource for educational, social and artistic application. It is rooted in a strong collaboration with several other community groups and aims at reconnecting people with the sources of the products they eat. http://ourfarm.ie/

Rotterdam
What would you do if your city announced it would close 15 out of 21 local libraries? Protest, complain, become a cynic, or take action and create something new? After having tried the first, a group of residents from Rotterdam West decided it was time for the latter. Describing the situation as a cultural and social disaster, they quickly devised a strategy in which they invited people from the neighbourhood to tell them what their ideal Reading Room would look like, but also what they would be willing to do to make it happen. Today, the Reading Room has reopened and functions as a lively community space. http://www.leeszaalrotterdamwest.nl

Helsinki
Yhteismaa (Common Ground) is a non-profit organization, specialized in new participatory city culture, co-creation and social movements. All our projects share the aim of a more fun, free, sustainable, responsible and social urban life. These include an international flea market day, setting up a table for a thousand people to eat in the middle of a street, art exhibitions at home, international conferences, a social media platform and many others.
http://yhteismaa.fi/

Market of Ideas
1-3pm on North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood

Local initiatives form the G20 area will be presenting their projects. Some of the groups include:

Maryhill Foodbank http://greatermaryhillfoodbank.co.uk/
Children’s Wood http://www.thechildrenswood.com
Maryhill Burgh Halls http:/http://www.maryhillburghhalls.org.uk/
Sustrans http://www.sustrans.org.uk/
Queen Margaret Driver Traders Association
Maryhill Mobile Creche
Friends of the River Kelvin http://www.fork.org.uk/
Woodlands Community Garden http://www.woodlandscommunitygarden.org.uk/
And many more local initiatives and activities for children like Facepainting

Community/family Ceilidh
Cosmic Ceilidh Band
3:30pm-5:30pm
The Cosmic Ceilidh Band are one of Scotland’s most sought after Edinburgh and Glasgow based ceilidh bands playing a lively repertoire of Celtic Ceilidh music full of surprises.

How to oppose the plans to build on our Dear Wild Place

We CAN save our Dear Wild Space if we all write in to object to New City Vision’s plans to build 90 dwellings on North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood. Please share this page to let everyone know how to submit 

The current plan is an update of the original application submitted back in 2012. The good news is that if you objected to the previous plan then Glasgow City Council will count that objection. So you don’t need to object again. However, you can add in extra information and send it in a separate objection letter. If you do this, remember to let the planning officer know that you want him to add this to your previous application.

Deadline for objecting: current deadline for applications 29th May

Where to send objection letters:
Ian Briggs
Planning Officer
Development and Regeneration Services
Glasgow City Council
231 George Street

or email objection letter to planning.representations@drs.glasgow.gov.uk

Objection letter and useful supporting documents to object to the current plans.

Here are four useful documents.  Please circulate for people to object to the planning development on North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood.  Objections can come from anywhere in the world!

Document 1: a useful sheet with 8 formal objections.  This will allow you to pick and choose which objection fits with your experience.

WritingLetters-RulesGuidanceIssues

Document 2: a template for writing your objection on 121213 Template Objection Letter

Document 3: a template letter which only requires a signature, date etc.  This is less ideal than document 2, but still is better than not sending in an objection at all  121213 Form Objection Letter

Document 4: Save North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood a document to help with submitting the objection letter

Need help filling out the application form?

Get in touch childrenswood@hotmail.com
We’ll be updating this post with times you can get help/advice/support in filling out the form
Come along to Knit Wild’s Crafternoon on the 24th of May, 1-5pm. See the flyer below
If the deadline is extended, you can get help filling out forms on the 30th May, 10-4pm at our Inequality event and during the West-end Festival, 6th June and 21st June.

Dear Wild Place

Please watch and share our film about the Children’s Wood and meadow.

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Contact your local MP, MSP and councillors and ask for support

Glasgow City Council is run by a Labour administration. It is the decision of the labour party to sell the land. They could at any point throw out the application on various grounds, including the length of time it is taking New City Vision to move forward. It has now been 7 years since New City Vision became the preferred developers, and 3 years since the initial planning application was submitted. In the mean time the community of Maryhill and North Kelvin have been kept hanging around while NCV stop and start.

We are not supported by the Glasgow Labour party and believe that they have not engaged with us on this issue. It is vitally important that you get in touch with your local councillor and other politicians on this issue and ask for their support on this important matter and to put pressure on the council to throw out this application and support our plans to keep it wild. 3,000 local people were surveyed by Glasgow University over a year ago and the results revealed that over 90% do not want building on the land.

Councillors

Helen Stephen, LBR
Helen.Stephen@glasgow.gov.uk
0141 287 3934
1st Tuesday of each month 5.00 pm. Dunard Primary School, 65 Dunard Street.
1st Wednesday of each month 5.30 pm. Ruchill Community Education Centre, 671 Bilsland Drive.
2nd Wednesday of each month 6.00 pm. Lambhill Stables, 11 Canal Bank North.

Chris Kelly, LBR.
Chris.kelly@councillors.glasgow.gov.uk
0141 287 7041
1st Monday each month. 5.30 pm. St Monica’s (Milton) Primary School, 200 Liddesdale Road.
3rd Monday each month. 5.30 pm. Possilpoint Community Centre, 130 Denmark Street.
4th Tuesday each month. 6.00 pm. The ARC, 340-342 Ashgill Road.

Kieran Wild, GRN,
kieran.wild@councillors.glasgow.gov.uk
0141 287 0223
07900 134 473
1st Thursday of the month. 6.00 pm – 7.00 pm. Possilpoint Community Centre, 130 Denmark Street.
3rd Wednesday of the month. 6.00 pm – 7.00 pm. St Charles Primary School, 13 Kelvinside Gardens.

Billy McAllister, SNP
billy.mcallister@councillors.glasgow.gov.uk
Every Monday. 6.00pm. St Monica’s (Milton) Primary School, 200 Liddesdale Road
2nd Thursday each month. 6.00 pm. St Monica’s (Milton) Primary School, 200 Liddesdale Road.
3rd Tuesday each month. 4.30 pm. Ruchill Community Centre, 671 Bilsland Drive.
MP

Patrick Grady, SNP
patrick@patrickgrady.org

MSP

Bob Doris, SNP

0141 353 0784
Surgery Times:
1st Monday of the month
Springburn Library, Kay Street, Glasgow G21 1JY – 5.30pm
2nd Monday of the month
Kelvindale Primary School, 11 Dorchester Place, Glasgow, G12 0BP – 5.30pm
Maryhill Burgh Halls, 10-24 Gairbraid Avenue, Glasgow G20 8YE – 7pm
3rd Monday of the month
King Street Council Offices, Rutherglen, G73 1DQ – 6pm
4th Monday of the month
Lambhill Stables, 11 Canal Bank North, Glasgow, G22 6RD 5pm
Bellcraig Community Centre, 10 Gorstan Street, Glasgow, G23 5QA – 6.30pm
‘Drop in’ surgeries, Glasgow City Centre – call for details on 0141 353 0784

Changes to the plan include:

All Lime trees on Clouston street to be removed and replaced
Housing on Clouston street will be wider and taller
The remaining greenspace in the centre of the meadow will belong to the developers and not to the community or council. It will be a private garden for the surrounding houses.