Planning application – how to oppose

Update on the ‘call in’

Update on the ‘call-in’ of the planning application submitted to Glasgow City Council by New City Vision to build 90 high end houses on North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood.

A Scottish Government Reporter has been appointed to investigate the ‘call-in’ of the housing development submitted by New City Vision to Glasgow City Council, to build 90 high end houses on North Kelvin Meadow and the Children’s Wood.

The plans were approved by Glasgow City Council on 26th of January 2016, who were minded to grant planning permission for the development after a planning committee vote of 8 against 6 in favour.

The Children’s Wood and community members delivered 6,000 petition signatures, and supporting evidence and letters, to the government on the 2nd of March asking the Government to ‘call-in’ the development plans for further scrutiny

The application was ‘called-in’ on the 11th March 2016 with the government report stating ‘given the loss of valued open space and possible conflict with policy, as well as the Council’s financial interest in the proposal it is considered that, on balance, it raise issues of national significance as to merit further scrutiny and determination by Scottish Ministers rather than by Glasgow City Council.’

Plea for a Public Inquiry

The reporter will now decide on which method of investigation will be used; a hearing, report or Public Inquiry and we are calling on the appointed reporter to employ a full Public Inquiry. A Public Inquiry will allow a thorough investigation to be carried out and the truth to emerge.

There are good reasons for the reporter to embark on a full Public Inquiry. There has been no consultation on the proposals for the land in spite of claims that local “consultation” has taken place and this planning application goes against both local and national policies, it will destroy a highly valued and vitally important community greenspace and there is a clear conflict of interest within the council in terms of the financial gain.

Glasgow City Council have been determined to build on this piece of land, despite thousands of people objecting to the idea. We want to see this application get the investigation it deserves, and only a full Public Inquiry will do justice to the thousands of people who love this land and what it represents.

We believe that the Public Inquiry is the best method to use since it will call on witnesses and will get deeper into the issue and show that we have an active history an active present and a sustainable future.

Precedent is on our side; an almost identical housing plan(1996) was ‘called ‘-in’ and the appeal decision (ref P/PPA/260/5) rejected the housing plans. ‘That application was for 132 flats on the site of the current application. The reporter in that case found that “In an area of high residential density, this open space area is an amenity feature providing recreation of a quite different type from that which can be enjoyed in the nearby Botanic Gardens”. The Reporter continued “I am unable to find from the evidence that there will be no loss of amenity or that alternative provision of equal community benefit will result”. That appeal was dismissed and planning permission refused.”

We believe that we have an even stronger case given the level of community engagement and the Children’s Wood Sustainable Futures Project. The Children’s Wood project received full planning permission on the 26th of January (all present voted in favour of the plan) and now we are seeking to aquire land owners permission and to use the Community Empowerment Bill to either lease or buy the land so that the land can be passed on for generations to come.

However, true to form, Glasgow City Council have rejected our requests to lease or buy the land and they have even denied us the missives which were signed between New City Vision and the Council 7 years ago. Our Freedom of Information Request was rejected with Glasgow City Council stating that it was ‘commercially confident’ information and it was’not in the public interest”to show us the missives. We believe that it is unacceptable and unfair that a private developer can sit back and have priority to purchasing land for 7 years while the community is treated unfairly. We believe that they have no legal privilege because of the passage of time and are confident that if the need arises to take this to the commissioner we would be proved correct. We will also be highlighting this to the reporter.

Meanwhile, The Children’s Wood has funding secured from The Robertson Trust, The Royal Bank of Scotland and The Postcode Lottery (among others) and there are now two part time paid employees delivering our Sustainable Futures Project which includes building on work with 22 schools and nurseries, playgroups, develop growing projects for the foodbank and to create other community and intergenerational links as well as make the land even more beautifully wild. We just planted wild meadow plots with the RSPB and built more compost bins. Alongside this, are the many other informal uses of the land. The land has been continually in use for local recreation, enjoyment and leisure since the early 1990s, far longer than the developers claim and we want to see a full Public Inquiry so that the community gets the investigation they deserve.

Press Articles:

The Herald.06.06.16 Front page, page 3 and page 15 with Open Letter

Evening Times 06.06.16

Next Steps:

We will be sending all relevant campaign information to the appointed reporter
We urge you to get in touch with MSP Angela Constance asking her to ensure that a full public Inquiry is made and that the plans are rejected- and we will be helping people to do this over the next few weeks. Ultimately she will be the person who decides whether the plans get rejected or not.

The reporter will visit the land at the end of July.

Read our Letter to Angela Constance

Planning update

As many of you will know, North Kelvin Meadow where we hold the majority of our activities both those for public and for schools, is under threat from council plans to sell the land for development following successful approval of a planning application from New City Vision for high end flats. As a positive step, The Children’s Wood have submitted its own planning application to retain the character and use of the land (more about this here). We were initially told that both the developer’s New City Vision and our own planning application would be considered at the end of July — and since then this continued to slip. Most recently we understood the applications would be considered on the 29th September. We have now learned the date will slip again into October, with no date yet fixed. Many thanks for all the words of encouragement and support in the face of this uncertainty; we will keep updated with dates, and any positive action we can and will take to ensure the value of the land to our local community is understood.

New City Vision planning application

We CAN save our Dear Wild Space if we all write in to object to New City Vision’s plans to build 90 dwellings on North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood. Please share this page to let everyone know how to submit 

The current plan is an update of the original application submitted back in 2012. The good news is that if you objected to the previous plan then Glasgow City Council will count that objection. So you don’t need to object again. However, you can add in extra information and send it in a separate objection letter. If you do this, remember to let the planning officer know that you want him to add this to your previous application.

Deadline for objecting: current deadline for applications 29th May

Where to send objection letters:
Ian Briggs
Planning Officer
Development and Regeneration Services
Glasgow City Council
231 George Street

or email objection letter to

Objection letter and useful supporting documents to object to the current plans.

Here are four useful documents.  Please circulate for people to object to the planning development on North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood.  Objections can come from anywhere in the world!

Document 1: a useful sheet with 8 formal objections.  This will allow you to pick and choose which objection fits with your experience.


Document 2: a template for writing your objection on 121213 Template Objection Letter

Document 3: a template letter which only requires a signature, date etc.  This is less ideal than document 2, but still is better than not sending in an objection at all  121213 Form Objection Letter

Document 4: Save North Kelvin Meadow and The Children’s Wood a document to help with submitting the objection letter

Need help filling out the application form?

Get in touch
We’ll be updating this post with times you can get help/advice/support in filling out the form
Come along to Knit Wild’s Crafternoon on the 24th of May, 1-5pm. See the flyer below
If the deadline is extended, you can get help filling out forms on the 30th May, 10-4pm at our Inequality event and during the West-end Festival, 6th June and 21st June.

Dear Wild Place

Please watch and share our film about the Children’s Wood and meadow.


Changes to the plan include:

All Lime trees on Clouston street to be removed and replaced
Housing on Clouston street will be wider and taller
The remaining greenspace in the centre of the meadow will belong to the developers and not to the community or council. It will be a private garden for the surrounding houses.

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