Planners must step in to protect threatened communities and the environment

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I sympathise with Pat Morris (Plans to build 300 houses in Gullane,letters, 30 May).

Gullane is one of several East Lothian villages facing the prospect of over-development. In neighbouring Dirleton, one of the country’s finest conservation villages, we are threatened with up to 72 new houses, likely to increase the size and population of the village by nearly a third.

This arises from 36 house sites on a development designated for only 30 in the present draft of the local development plan and a further 36 likely to be the subject of an imminent planning application.

Even if the local authority were to refuse over-development on this scale in a village with no shop, the likely loss in August of its only bus service and a primary school filled almost to capacity, it seems likely that it could be achieved on appeal to the Scottish Government, who seem intent on giving in to developers and riding roughshod over established conservation mechanisms and policies in the local development plan such as Countryside Around Towns and Development in the Coastal Area, which are intended to protect the fragile rural and coastal environment.

Tom Drysdale

Dirleton

The situation at Gullane is rightly causing the people of that seaside village concern.

What has happened to planning principles?

Here in North Lanarkshire an irreplaceable stretch of green belt amounting to some three square miles is under threat from a development proposing 3,000 “high quality homes”. The historic estate of Woodhall with Faskine has been enjoyed by generations of people in South Airdrie and South Coatbridge – from Carnbroe through Cairnhill, Brownsburn and Calderbank to Chapelhall. It is defacto a Country Park and should be kept that way – Airdrie lacks such a green place for nature, for recreation and for rejuvenation.

Along comes a “recent start” property development company that engages a consultation supplier whose headquarters are in Los Angeles, a place with probably the worst excesses of urban sprawl in the developed world. We do not wish this to be the fate of the land between here and Edinburgh.

Will our recently elected MSPs and other representatives declare their support for the communities and environment here?

(Dr) IA Glen

Monks Road, Airdrie

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