JR Group reacts to ‘shocking’ refusal of plans to build 12 affordable homes in Wishaw
Scottish construction firm JR Group has revealed its shock and disappointment following North Lanarkshire Council’s refusal to approve revised proposals for 12 affordable homes on a derelict brownfield site in Wishaw.
The planning application – the group’s second for the former social club site on Main Street – was lodged following direct conversations with the planning authority, and addressed all initial objections raised after the council’s first refusal in 2020.
The planning committee voted 9-8 against the proposals during a meeting which was aired online.
Gary McGregor, managing director for the JR Group, who hails from Wishaw, said: “To say we’re disappointed with the decision is an understatement. We’re baffled by it.
“To have specifically addressed each and every element of feedback from the planning authority, minuted the meeting, issued confirmation in advance of the application, to then have the application refused, is in itself bizarre. Then for a refusal at appeal, given the fact that both the council and the local RSL [registered social landlord] are in support of the project, is even worse.
“To refuse planning for affordable homes, on a contaminated brownfield site which has funding support is unbelievable. The councillors raised concerns over potentially ‘dangerous’ footpath alignment, yet the proposals met both local and national standards. These concerns were simply not answered correctly during the meeting, which begs the question of whether anyone has actually visited the site.”
He added: “The site, which would have undergone a total transformation, will now remain a derelict contaminated brownfield site with hoarding removed and will eventually be put up for sale or let. Given my connection to the area, I understand how saddening that will be for local residents and those on the waiting list for a new home in this area.
“North Lanarkshire Council has a responsibility to fulfil its mandate and realise its strategic ambitions around the redevelopment of brownfield sites for the benefit of the local community. By refusing to grant planning for only 12 much-needed affordable homes, two hundred yards from the Main Street is baffling.
“We appreciate the support of those councillors who voted in favour of the amendment and the backing of the local housing association. They clearly recognised our track record for building high quality affordable housing in the area and beyond.”