West Dunbartonshire rejects government greenfield housing recommendation

Councillors have unanimously rejected proposals to allow a greenfield site in Duntocher to be opened up for housing development.

West Dunbartonshire Council’s planning committee was directed to approve a Scottish Government ministers recommendation to include the Duntiglennan Fields site into the area’s Local Development Plan (LDP) as a housing development opportunity.

However, after strong objections from local residents, councillors refused to accept the directive from the Scottish Government.

The unprecedented step could still be overturned should Scottish ministers use their powers to force the council to include the site in the LDP.

Councillor Lawrence O’Neill, convener of planning, told the committee he would now seek an urgent meeting with Alex Neill MSP, cabinet secretary for social justice, communities and pensioners’ rights, to discuss the matter further.

Councillor O’Neill said: “We are determined to show Scottish Government ministers how important this issue is to everyone in West Dunbartonshire. There are plenty of brownfield sites for development throughout West Dunbartonshire and we don’t want to see such an important greenbelt area become housing. We have already seen large swathes of greenbelt areas built on and we don’t want to see this further eroded.”

Provost Douglas McAllister, depute-convener of the council’s planning committee, said: “I have been inundated with calls, emails and letters from residents who are opposed to this proposal. We should not be forced by the Scottish Government to give up this precious greenbelt area and hopefully they will now take note of the strong feeling in West Dunbartonshire against this proposal.”

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