Clydebelt started in November 1990 at a public meeting of 400 people who were opposed to a horrendous planning application for the hills, which was successfully defeated. We come from Clydebank, Dumbarton, Bearsden, Milngavie, Glasgow and beyond, and from many different backgrounds, local and national amenity societies, outdoor pursuit organisations, the Community Councils and political parties.
Over the years the group has made considerable input into the Clydebank Local Plan in particular in helping to keep the Dalmuir Park, Golf Course and Auchentoshan Estate in Green Belt.
But in the August 2007 finalised draft West Dunbartonshire Local Plan, which will replace the Dumbarton and Clydebank ones, Auchentoshan Estate has been yet again removed from Green Belt, and 30 houses inserted.
Even before that plan has been through all consultations, six acres of the site were approved for housing and an adult handicapped centre. We asked the Scottish Minister for Communities to decide against the planning permission granted by West Dunbartonshire Council (being referred because of the Council’s financial interest and the green belt status of the land) because officials and councillors made serious planning procedure errors, and behaved unethically in leading up to, and at the 6th December meeting which decided the application. A Public Inquiry was held 18-20 September 2007. Clydebelt's final submisssion to the Inquiry can be read here.
The Inquiry result, in March 2008, was that the proposed Bobath Centre and Adult Handicapped Centre are to be allowed, but the housing element has been emphatically refused. The reporter stated that the three sites presently meet all of the specified green belt objectives. The garden site is not recognised as brown field, as claimed by the council. If demolished, the present AHC site could revert to open space/green field in exchange for the land being lost. There should be no need for widening the drive and entry into the estate and no need to fell a number of trees.
Other concerns raised with MSPs, the Scottish Executive, West Dunbartonshire Council, East Dunbartonshire Council or the Sheriff Court recently included: New Scottish Planning Policy on green belts, Community right of appeal amendment in Plann ing Bill, Golf Course flats, Overtoun House, West Dunbartonshire Environmental Trust, Davie Cooper Children's Day-care Centre, Demolition of Cochnohill Stables, Sheephill Quarry.