Celtic question validity of council’s parking zone plans

A club representatives said there were 'gaps' in the traffic regulation order when it was first advertised to the public.

Celtic have questioned the validity of council plans to introduce a parking zone outside their ground amid claims key information was missing.

A club representatives said there were “gaps” in the traffic regulation order when it was first advertised to the public, with no details on the streets impacted or the hours of operation.

The authority has proposed an event day parking zone due to residents’ concerns about obstructive match day parking and to encourage fans to use public transport.

But thousands of people have objected to the order causing the council to call a public hearing.

At a pre-hearing meeting, Celtic’s lawyer called for the issue to be resolved before any full hearing.

A council representative said the complaint would need to be investigated but they were open to a second pre-hearing.

Two Scottish Government reporters, who will chair the public hearing, had planned to hold the event in mid-May or early June.

But Jacqueline Harris, representing Celtic, said there was an “underlying challenge” to the order which needed to be resolved.

She said there had been “material blanks and gaps” when notice of the order was published in the press and opened for consultation. “As it stands the responses are not to the order currently proposed,” Ms Harris added.

“As far as we’re aware it is only as recently as February that the specifics of the schedules in the order were made available.”

The lawyer also warned the hearing might need to be delayed due to coronavirus, saying it “could be compromised if there’s a restriction on indoor gatherings”.

Glasgow City Council’s representative said if the authority had been given notice of Celtic’s complaint it could have prepared a response in advance of the pre-hearing.

It is “important we fully understand the challenge that has been made”, he added.

He later said: “The council is very happy for this to be dealt with on a preliminary basis.”

Reporter Lance Guilford said he had noticed the order was “not complete” but assumed it was a mistake in the information sent to them.

He added another pre-hearing could be needed to resolve the issue “questioning the validity of the order”.

It was agreed Celtic would send a submission to the council by March 24 and the authority would respond by April 7.

The pre-hearing also heard how the council intends to have external legal advisers, from Harper Macleod, and senior officers from the roads and neighbourhoods and sustainability departments speak at the hearing.

Celtic will put forward external traffic consultants, an external economist, a senior club official and a supporter liaison officer.

Other representations are expected from Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue, SPT, ScotRail, First Bus, Gallowgate Parish Church, local NHS services and nearby residents, including from the athletes’ village.

The football club emphasised it could not speak on behalf of fans, with many also expected to make representations.

Rangers fans will attended a pre-hearing on similar plans for Ibrox on Wednesday night.

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