Hundreds of homes are set to be built in the east end of Glasgow despite concerns over the impact on the environment.
Planners have recommended councillors award planning permission in principle for the redevelopment of land in Carmyle next to River Road, Kenmuir Road and Clydeford Road when they meet on Tuesday.
The plans were submitted by AS Carmyle Ltd and New City Vision (Carmyle) Ltd in 2017 and more than 70 objections were submitted by Carmyle residents.
Since then, the developer has made changes, including removing plans for access to the houses through Orchard Park and proposed homes to the north of the Baggie Minnow Pond.
If the scheme goes ahead, it will include two multi-use games pitches, an expansion to the local community centre and increased capacity in schools, with three new classrooms and two extra nursery classes.
These benefits were agreed in consultation with the community, and approved by the council at a meeting in September. The developer will need to pay £11,000 per home to fund the facilities.
A planning condition would mean the development cannot exceed 300 homes.
Many of the objectors were concerned about the loss of green open space at Orchard Park.
They also argued the land should be considered greenbelt and raised concerns over the loss of wildlife and protected species, increased traffic and noise and potential flooding issues.
Some residents fear “unnecessary” pressure on local shops, schools, surgeries and public transport due to the increased population.
One Carmyle resident said: “It seems rather shortsighted to be building on land where there’s currently an abundance of natural habitat including trees when we’re all taking measures to reduce our carbon footprint and trying to keep animals and insects from extinction.”
Some grassland and woodland would be lost due to the development, but the city’s development plan states schemes “may be supported” even where it “adversely affects” a site of importance for nature conservation” where “there are clear economic and social benefits”.
This development would “contribute to meeting housing needs” on a “strategic housing site”, a report by council planners states.
“A range of community benefits are also included in the proposal to improve the social and physical infrastructure of residents in Carmyle,” it said.
“In addition, it will also result in removing some traffic out of Carmyle village and assist in easing congestion in the village centre with the road access coming from Clydeford Road, rather than using the existing road network.”
Council planners have decided the benefits “outweigh” the conservation interest of the site — which is “of the lowest value to the city”.
Species protection plans will be required to “prevent any significant impact” on bats and otters. Floodplain storage will be lost, but there has been no objection from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency as “compensatory” storage is possible.
In response to objections, the council planners said the site is not identified as greenbelt land, and the changes mean Orchard Park will not be affected.
They say the loss of parts of the Baggie Minnow conservation area is “unfortunate but necessary” to provide access and avoid congestion issues.
The report concludes the development is “acceptable in land uses terms”.
To provide access for vehicles, a fourth arm would be added to the roundabout on the A763 Clydeford Road and a new length of road to link with River Road.
“This requires an engineered embankment approximately 450 metres in length.”
A previous application for planning permission was rejected and an appeal was refused in 2015.
Those plans included access from the existing road network and were refused due to “poor connectivity”. They also failed to show how community facilities would be funded.
By Drew Sandelands, Local Democracy Reporter