Neilston’s housing plan unanimously approved despite over 1,000 objections

A controversial plan to build 90 houses in Neilston has been unanimously approved despite over 1,000 objections.

Residents fear the Dawn Homes development, off Kirkton Road, is causing excessive noise, but council planners have recommended the proposal be given the green light.

Developers welcomed the council’s decision, saying the project will provide “new, energy-efficient homes” with play areas for children.

READ MORE: Controversial East Renfrewshire homes plan must be approved despite objections

The East Renfrewshire Planning Committee visited the site on Wednesday before deciding whether to back the application, subject to a legal agreement on the delivery of affordable housing and a financial contribution from the developer. There should be 24 affordable housing units.

A noise assessment submitted with the plans revealed that homes closest to the railway will experience nighttime levels which are ‘likely to cause a wake-up event’.

Cllr Andrew Morrison, Conservator, said: ‘The report stated that noise levels would exceed World Health Organization standards unless windows were kept closed.

“I believe that in the summer – these new build properties have very good insulation – it could cause a lot of discomfort for the residents unless the windows are left open in which case there will be a lot of noise from the adjacent railway line.”

In response, a planning official said nighttime noise is “defined as anything after 11 p.m. at night and before 6 a.m., so the actual number of train movements is very limited during the night”.

He added that the first train is at 6.27am and the last trip at 11.34pm and said: “I don’t dispute that there is a noise issue, but the impression that there is constant noise throughout at night does not seem to remove, there is an occasional noise.

Planning committee chair, Cllr Betty Cunningham, Labour, said: ‘The only thing there is the golf club and it is sometimes open late for receptions but normally this area of ​​Neilston is very, very quiet. As you can see, it’s mostly in the countryside.

Neilston residents have also raised concerns about the loss of green space, busier roads and a lack of infrastructure, such as schools and shops, to support the new homes.

However, Dawn Homes general manager Martin Egan said: “Neilston is a large village with playgrounds, a train station, local schools and a variety of amenities including a community centre, library, health centre. leisure and shopping.

“Our development will bring new energy efficient three and four bedroom homes to the area, with play areas for children.

“There will be plenty of open and wooded spaces, ideal for taking the dog and encouraging biodiversity, with walking and cycling routes linking throughout the development to the wider community for all to enjoy. We look forward to getting started on site in the coming months.

Council planners had recommended that the project be approved, pointing out that the site is identified in the local development plan for residential use. They also said the proposal had “undergone extensive revisions” to meet council policies and “exceeds affordable housing requirements”.

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When the committee originally met to discuss the plans in April, then Labor Provost Jim Fletcher said: ‘If we were to just turn this down because there are a number of objectors, I think ‘It’s almost 100% certain that the developer would go to the Scottish government reporter and the reporter would say it’s a site for development in the local plan and adopt it.

At yesterday’s meeting, Tory Councilor Jim McLean said: ‘I think we have to be very careful about what we do here because obviously if the plans are rejected today it will probably go to the journalist and, in all likelihood, the journalist to overthrow him.

However, new Provost Mary Montague, Labor, said: ‘Wherever it might go after this, we’re here to make a decision on what lies ahead so I won’t consider it.’

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