Campaign for North Kelvin Meadow faces council development decision


Community space threatened with housing planning decision

A POPULAR CHILDREN’S WOODLAND is facing a judgement day in front of the Glasgow City Council Planning Committee with a decision due on whether to develop the space for flats.

North Kelvin Meadow, based in Glasgow’s West-end, has been subject to attempts to grant a housing project for eight years despite persistent opposition from local residents.

Campaigners have organised a protest ahead of the meeting [Tuesday 26 January] and Scottish Green councillor Kieran Wild has promised to speak up on their behalf in the city chambers.

Wild told CommonSpace: “On Tuesday I will be given two minutes to speak at the planning committee against the New City Visions proposed planning application on the North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood. I will be highlighting the following paragraph from Scottish Government’s Planning Advice Note 65: Planning and Open Space:

‘The future growth of settlements and the need to find sustainable locations for housing and economic development will have implications for open space. Scottish Planning Policy 17: Planning for Transport supports higher densities in locations that are most accessible by walking, cycling and public transport. This should not lead to a loss of amenity and will place greater emphasis on the need for a well-distributed, well-connected and accessible supply of quality open space.’

“The important part of this planning guidance from the Scottish Government to councils on how they should approach conflicts between open space and new developments is the phase ‘This should not lead to a loss of amenity’.

“The Children’s Wood have been supporting a huge amount of activity on the site including the following:

1. GP Referral Scheme – Local GPs referring patients to the Meadow as therapy
2. Glasgow University – Research Projects Outcomes showing improved learning and creativity after time spent on the Meadow
3. Clyde College Asylum Seekers – Maintenance Group
4. Training & Development – 32 Teachers trained in Outdoor Learning, 2 volunteers trained to Level 1 Forest School, 10 volunteers trained to Level 1 and 2 Forest School, 2 volunteers in training for Level 3 Forest School, 4 volunteers trained in Outdoor First Aid
5. Scottish Pre-school Play Association Wednesday Playgroup – Run by local volunteers
6. Saturday Outdoor Learning Club – Cooperatively run – First of its kind
7. Friday Under 7 Forest School Funded by The Lottery. TCV support local volunteers
8. Weekly Schools Sessions – Working with local schools to meet the Experiences 2
and Outcomes from the Curriculum for Excellence
9. Education Committee – Local teachers creating resources for teachers to use with their classes on the Meadow and Wood. Two packs launched 2014-15 and working on 2016.
10. Glasgow Equality Group – Annual Conference Run by local volunteers
11. Sensory Garden – Raised beds for local Special Needs schools

“All these activities will have to stop if councillors agree to the Glasgow City Council’s Planning Department’s recommendation that permission is granted to build a 90 unit housing development on the site. Loss of amenity means losing a desirable or useful feature or facility of a place.

“The eleven activities listed above are all amenities that the site currently provides the area. Despite not a single Labour councillor, MSP or MP putting in an objection to this planning application I hope that the Labour controlled Planning Committee will save this amazing space.”

The community group is also developing further projects, including growing fresh food in the meadow to support Maryhill food band.

Supporters of the meadow will gather outside Glasgow City Chambers at 10.45am to lobby councillors.

The group said: “We need you to come out to this demo to show Glasgow City Council Planning Committee that we want this precious, well used , wild green community land to be saved from 90 top end luxury flats. If we aren’t successful every square foot will be bulldozed and a meadow and 500+ trees destroyed.”

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Picture courtesy of North Kelvin Meadow