Friday, 5 October 2007

"Our parks face the axe"

From the Evening Times:

Our park faces axe

FAMILIES are furious another vital piece of green space in Glasgow is being sold off for millions of pounds to developers.

The park, at the bottom of Broomhill Avenue near Partick, has been used for more than 50 years by children, dog walkers and for community events. It is also home to five trees and wildlife.

One angry resident has accused Glasgow City Council of a serious dereliction of duty - and of selling off the land in a bid to finance the city's bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Residents have learned the council-owned land is being sold as part of a package which includes the nearby Balshagray annexe of Anniesland College and the former Balshagray swimming pool - both of which are owned by Anniesland College.

Developers must submit proposals for the two-acre site, expected to fetch up to £5million, by October 17.

Chris Osborne, who has lived in Broomhill for seven years, said: "This is a real community amenity that is regularly used by the residents. It's the only nearby green space the kids have, apart from Victoria Park.

"The council views it as surplus land but they didn't ask anyone if it was surplus before they started negotiating with Anniesland college.

"Why was it six weeks from the developer proposals closing date before residents found out what was happening?

"This is opportunistic greed. There's no need for it to be sold, the council is selling off any land it can to fund the Commonwealth bid."

Kate Reid, who has lived in Broomhill for two years, said: "We fear a property developer will put up flats which will block out everyone's sunlight."

A spokesman for the council said: "It is absolutely not true to say that any monies raised from the sale of the land being jointly marketed is being used to fund the Commonwealth Games Bid.
"It is zoned as residential - not greenspace.

"The planning brief contains a number of options which either allow for demolition of the existing buildings and new development across the whole site, or refurbishment of the college building as flats with demolition of the pool and new build on the remaining land."

Earlier this week the Evening Times told of plans to build two four-storey blocks on two small parks on Leslie Street in Pollokshields.

And Green councillors have called for cash to be spent on more green spaces in the city.

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