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Abolition of the Strathclyde Regional Council removed a layer of protection for the wider interests of the Green Belt, although the various Glasgow and Clyde Valley councils are still responsible for an overarching Structure Plan. Their Plan came into force in 2000, and has a major review every five years.
Consultation ended on 20th June 2005 on draft alterations to the Joint Structure Plan for the Glasgow and the Clyde Valley. You can read our full response here (a 48kb PDF file).
Here is a very brief summary of our points:
•We are glad that you propose to retain existing areas designated as Green Belt. We would object to any diminution of Green Belt in West Dunbartonshire to provide for urban expansion.
•We object to the requirement for Dumbarton to contribute to the growth of housing for the wider G&CV area (even though more than enough is allocated in its local Housing Market Area),
•We object to housing needs being projected assuming that there will be significant economic growth to decrease net migration out.
•G&CV should decide what size of windfarm is "significant" (below which, if outwith designated areas, it would not be seen as a departure from the plan). We suggest 10MW (about 5 turbines).
•We agree that there should be a 3km buffer from windfarms round all settlements, and that development on this scale would not be appropriate in the Green Belt.
•We object that part of the Kilpatrick Hills will be designated as a "potential area of search for windfarms". See more on this on our Airtricity page.
Consultations end on 4th December 2005 on further alterations to the Structure Plan following the consultations earlier in the year. We have extracted some of the revised documents that cover issues of concern to Clydebelt. There were no responses to our comments on green belts and housing. But they have improved the policy on Renewable Energy from Wind Sources.
We approve that, by adding 20 MW Wind Turbine Capacity to the Scales of Development likely to be Significant, the size of windfarm regarded as "significant" (below which, if outwith designated areas, it would not be seen as a departure from the plan) is now lower than the 50 MW (about 25 turbines) size that is decided by the Executive, and may therefore be decided by a local authority. However we would still prefer the limit to be 10 MW (about 5 turbines).
We are glad that diagram 11-05 no longer indicates a (potential) area for windfarm development in the Kilpatrick Hills.
These were our comments on the Consultative draft in 2000 that led to the present Structure Plan.
Clydebelt members are pleased that the vision at the heart of the 1999 Draft Glasgow and Clyde Valley Structure Plan fits well with the aims of our organisation. We strongly support the focus on sustainably safeguarding and improving the quality of life in the West of Scotland Metropolitan Area by enhancing the attractiveness of the area, encouraging renewal and reuse of vacant and derelict urban land, bringing jobs close to where unemployed people live, and minimising the need to travel. It promotes the creation of a Green Network, and stresses "the presumption against development in the Green Belts", "priority being given to the recycling of urban land by using brownfield land in preference to greenfield sites". "... there are specific landscape resources that need to be recognised ... Kilpatricks ... have an amenity value which is of wider than local".
We welcome that this Draft values, much more than did the 1995 Structure Plan, the consolidation of communities and "continuing to define a strong Green Belt structure which enhances the character of individual towns and villages". We are glad to see the case that there should be no need to use any Green Belt land for housing or other non-agricultural building for a period well beyond the life of this Plan.
We are also pleased to support the proposal that a Green Network should be created, to link with and complement the Green Belt, integrating town and country. We would like to see more detail of how this can be developed, particularly how the linking of wildlife habitats may be achieved.
We are pleased to see that "no strategic adjustments are required to the general extent of the current Green Belt", but we would prefer there to be a prescription against Local Plans adjusting the current boundaries. We support the presumption against reuse of brownfield sites within the Green Belt and against the building of "low density low impact housing".
Our members feel that serious consideration should be given to the proposal by the Helensburgh Green Belt Action Group that the first kilometre of Green Belt next to urban areas should be designated as a "Green Halo" which has extra strong presumption against development of any kind for a period much longer than the lifetime of Structure and Local Plans.
Clydebelt members value their local Regional Scenic Area in a hierarchy of landscapes, with wild land better than cultivated, cultivated land better than golf courses and parks, and all better than buildings. It is important to continue to control development in the Kilpatrick Hills and in the Green Belt, drawing on the designation of the Kilpatrick Hills as a Regional Scenic Area and the Green Belt provisions. Green Belt, wedges and fingers into the urban area enable nature conservation and diversity of animals, birds and plants. The area contains and provides habitats for a diversity of wildlife which should be preserved, and not put at risk by improving access and building more houses.
We fully support the wider Strategic Environmental Framework, and the need for Local Plans and Local Biodiversity Action Plans to provide detailed frameworks for protecting Green Belt, cherished landscapes and ecologically rich environments. We would appreciate some indication in the Structure Plan that those consulting on LPs and LPADs should seek collaboration with groups such as ours, with detailed local knowledge and love of our areas, as well as the national statutory bodies. We would like the Structure Plan to be more specific than the Draft on how local authorities should identify wildlife sites of importance (as indicated in NPPG14 para 60) and revise their lists as new data arises.
One feature of the Plan is the proposal of a Clyde Waterfront Initiative "to reclaim the Clyde waterfront for Communities and to restore the reputation of the Clyde as a centre of economic activity and high-tech quality economic productivity" by, among other things, "developing mixed use developments, including up to 500 additional houses ... in particular at ... Clydebank & Dumbarton" and "linking the Green Network through the heart of the Metropolitan area". Scottish Enterprise-Dunbarton have commissioned plans for the area between the Clyde and Dumbarton Rd. from Clydebank to Erskine Ferry Road, but will not reveal details yet.
The final version of the Structure Plan - no longer accessible on the internet - was amended after consultation by the Scottish Executive, and came into force on 1st May 2002.
http://www.clydebelt.org.uk/structure.html created 13/3/96, modified 20/11/2015 by Dutyhog.