East Renfrewshire Conservative Councillors have blasted the decision from the SNP and Labour to force through unwanted plans for a nursery facility on Busby Primary School’s playing fields.
Conservative representatives on the Planning Applications Committee, Councillor Stewart Miller, Councillor Jim Swift and Councillor Jim McLean objected strongly to the proposal and voted against planning consent being given at committee.
The unwanted plans to sacrifice the playing fields in order to build a nursery were railroaded through by the SNP and Labour in spite of huge opposition from the local community.
The playing fields have been used for events such as school sports days, parent council summer fayres and for pupils to use as a play area at morning break and lunch times.
The deeply unpopular proposals sparked a fierce backlash from parents and prompted the formation of the ‘Save Busby Primary Playing Fields’ campaign group.
The planning application produced 166 written objections to the council.
Councillor Stewart Miller, Conservative Group Leader said:
“It beggars belief that the SNP and Labour have voted this through.
“Conservative councillors listened intently to the views of local people and individually we all reached the same conclusion that the plans should not proceed.
“Decision-making within councils should be guided by the voices of the people we are elected to represent. Regrettably, SNP and Labour Councillors appear to take a different view as they have wilfully disregarded the views of the local community by allowing the nursery plans to go forward.
“At the Planning Applications Committee meeting I put emotions to one side and stuck rigidly to planning regulations, which have been given considerable attention by the parents group.
“None of the Administration Councillors challenged anything I said but they still chose to vote in favour of developing the playing fields. I was amazed when Ward 4 Councillor Annette Ireland proposed the motion to build the nursery, which was going against the wishes of the local community in Busby.
“The overwhelming verdict from parents was that they did not want the school playing fields sacrificed for a nursery facility and we are dismayed that the proposal has gained planning consent.
“Jim Swift, Jim McLean and I all spoke our minds at the committee meeting and we are hugely frustrated that a different outcome has not been achieved.”
Paul Masterton MP for East Renfrewshire said:
“I fully endorse the decision of Conservative Councillors on the Planning Applications Committee to vote against this proposal.
“As the weeks went past, it became increasingly clear that the building of a nursery facility on the playing fields was unwanted by parents and our Councillors made the correct choice by opposing it.”
Jackson Carlaw MSP for Eastwood added:
“East Renfrewshire Conservative Councillors have listened to the concerns of the local community by objecting to this unwanted planning application at committee.
“The decision to award planning permission is yet another example of the SNP and Labour ignoring the voices of local people.”