Council leader hits out over delay on land masterplan

BUSINESSES and residents have been left in limbo by Scottish Government delays over a land-use masterplan, says to a council boss.

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Classification of Braehead is different to other shopping centres
Classification of Braehead is different to other shopping centres

Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan spoke out after the local authority was told by planners in Edinburgh that they are putting off a decision on whether to adopt the council's local development plan for at least another 28 days.

The masterplan dictates which areas of land can and cannot be used for shopping, housing and industrial use.

The council's proposed plan was submitted to the Scottish Government Reporter for examination earlier this year but it came back with a recommen-dation which would have resulted in the removal of a section classifying Braehead as a town centre.

Councillors took the view the Government's refusal to accept the change of status for Braehead was not legally sound and sent the plan back for approval.

That gave the Scottish Government 28 days to decide on whether to formally adopt the plan but that period has now elapsed and Ministers have said they want to extend it.

Mr Macmillan said he was disappointed with the delay which will force council planners to use an outdated development plan.

He said: "This delay is creating uncertainty for businesses and residents. Householders are having to sit on proposed develop-ments without knowing when they can go ahead.

"We have produced a local plan which we believe strikes the right balance between creating oppor-tunities for sustainable development while protect-ing the environment.

"This council is doing its best to show Renfrewshire is open for business but while there is no decision over the local development plan, we cannot give clarity to possible investors.

"If Braehead was to be given town centre status - as Silverburn and Glasgow Fort already have - it would streamline the process for developers and help us bring investment and jobs to the local area.

"We have already reluctantly accepted the rest of the recommen-dations thrown up by the government which saw us release several greenbelt sites for housing which we would have preferred to leave as they are.

"But we do not believe the Scottish Government's unwillingness to accept town centre status for Braehead is correct.

"I am calling on the Scottish Government to stop dragging its heels and give Renfrewshire businesses and residents the certainty they deserve."

vivienne.nicoll@eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

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