You can put up 68 homes ... but not another 550!

Vivienne Nicoll

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A new housing development on the site of the former Glasgow Zoo has been given the go-ahead.

But a bid by the same developer to construct up to 550 family homes on a neighbouring site has been turned down.

Now developer Miller Homes says it is planning to appeal after branding the decision "irrational".

The company applied for permission earlier this year to build 68 properties on a site south of its Keeper's Gate development at Calderpark Road.

The plan attracted only one objection and, as a result, did not have to go before the city council planning committee.

Instead, it was considered by planning officials who decided it could go ahead once Miller provides cash for community facilities in the area.

At the same time, Miller Homes lodged an application in principle for housing on a 110-acre site bounded by the North Calder River, the M73 and the Glasgow-Whifflet railway line.

The site is currently farmland but has been zoned for housing because of a serious shortage of family homes in the city.

As the house builder had asked only for permission in principle, no details were made available about the number or style of properties planned for the land.

But council senior planner Alan Russell said the site could take up to 550 homes, most of them likely to be detached.

As part of the planning permission, Miller would have to agree to fund a number of projects to benefit local people.

These include a £7million indoor sports and changing facility in James Lindsay Memorial Park, a £2m bridge over the railway line, a £750,000 car park at Baillieston station, an extension of the Memorial Park to provide outdoor pitches and £250,000 of improvements to the library in Baillieston town centre.

However, local councillor David McDonald said he was concerned about the loss of green space, while local people also had concerns about more traffic congestion.

Mr Russell said plans to upgrade nearby Boghall Road would address the traffic issues.

But the application was rejected when opposition councillors outvoted Labour members who wanted it to go ahead.

A spokesman for Miller Homes said it would appeal the refusal of outline planning permission.

He added: "This irrational decision goes against established council policy, which supports new housing development in the Broomhouse and Baillieston area.

"The decision brings into jeopardy the prospects of a range of community benefits that projects such as this would bring to the area."

Miller started building on the former zoo site in 2005 and the final phase of work is under way to provide a total of 190 three, four and five bedroom detached family homes.

Glasgow Zoo, which opened in 1947 as Calderpark Zoo, shut its doors in 2003.