Residents start petition to stop Bothwell nursery plans

The playing fields off Appledore Crescent in Bothwell
The playing fields off Appledore Crescent in Bothwell
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Bothwell residents have started a petition to stop proposals to build a nursery on Appledore playing fields.

Almost 275 people have already taken to Change.org to sign the petition set up by Eddie Mallon.

The plans by South Lanarkshire Council would see the proposed nursery take up “the only green space left” and concerns have been raised it could increase traffic problems.

A public meeting will take place on Wednesday at 7pm in St Bride’s Primary, but Mr Mallon is concerned about what could happen to the community.

He said: “From what I’ve seen, the building will be set against the trees with a car park onto Appledore Crescent. Traffic is already an absolute nightmare on Appledore Crescent.

“I don’t know if it’s because of the houses but the kids tend to play out the front garden. When you go round there, you’re doing 5/10mph and there are still near misses.

“I’m not sure what plans they have for the lorry traffic. The traffic situation is going to be horrendous.

“For the community, it’s about the lack of understanding of the risk it’s going to cause.

“The worst-case scenario for me, is that they go ahead with this proposal, don’t sort out the traffic issue and a kid is killed by a lorry. It is a very congested area.”

The new nursery will help the council reach the required capacity needed to provide enough free childcare places for preschool children. Mr Mallon understands the council’s commitments but feels there are better solutions available.

He added: “There’s a million reasons why this is a bad idea. There will be a lack of opportunity for kids to play. No one close was told – we copied letters and passed them around to make people aware.

“There was no public consultation but there is no legal requirement for public consultation. The proposal had the wrong address so the council had to take it down. I think they wanted to make it happen with as little noise as possible.

“This is pretty much the last of the green space and they are saying there is no where else to build it. Everyone who lives there can give four or five alternative spaces.

“I don’t know how many kids use it, they were out playing football at 10pm the other night. Where are they going to go?

“For me, I think it’s a case of is it the best place or the cheapest place for the council? Because they own the playing field.”

As a resident in the immediate vicinity of the park, Mr Mallon will be one of the most affected by the proposed development.

“My house backs onto the park,” he said. “Instead of looking onto a football pitch, I’m going to have a 2.4m high fence.

“The only reason I bought that house was the green space so I could walk the dog and the kids would have somewhere to play. I’ve no legal standpoint there.

“If the proposal goes ahead, I will sell my house. I’m happy where I am but I’m not going to live in a building site.”

Mr Mallon has already submitted a letter of objection to the council, along with around 20 other residents.

Lynn Sherry, head of education at South Lanarkshire Council, said: “A public consultation meeting has been arranged  to give local people the opportunity to comment on the proposed nursery centre at Appledore Crescent, Bothwell, and to enable any concerns to be considered when final plans are drawn up.

Stephen Bark - Local Democracy Reporting Service