Seven square miles of hills for developers!

Kilpatrick Estates Ltd tried to get hold of several farms and other land, covering 7 square miles of the Kilpatrick Hills Regional Scenic Area and Green Belt, to build two hotels, four golf courses, a dry ski slope, an equestrian centre, space for 2500 cars and other developments as an exclusive £250M leisure estate. The area extended from the edge of Bearsden & Milngavie, across much of the green land area of Clydebank and into Dumbarton District. Clydebelt emerged at a public meeting on 26 November 1990 to fight them off. The fight went on until June 1991.

Clydebelt "breakfasted" with the developers, then after the developer's press conference, responded on STV news. Clydebelt appeared on on Radio Clyde's GreenGauge programme. Leslie Riddoch's Speaking Out on Radio Scotland featured Clydebelt Chairman vigourously debating with the developers. We held public meetings in churches and in the Clyde Theatre. Clydebelt held a Race Night, and the ClydeBelter benefit night at the Clyde Theatre was provided by Dave Anderson, Harry Marshall, Elaine C Smith, Danny Kyle, Kate Donnelly, Brooks, Peter Nardini, Adam McNaughton and Fred McAulay. MP Tony Worthington asked questions in Parliament, strongly questioned the claim of 2000 jobs, and joined our March For The Hills.

The developers lost a Lord, failed to reveal a "major American backer", cancelled one press conference after another, produced a flawed Environmental Impact Study, and had angry exchanges with some of the landowners.

Clydebelt investigated individuals in the developers' team and asked the Herald, Scotsman and Sunday Mail to investigate further. We learned things that wouldn't inspire confidence:

After 400 letters of objection, local people lobbying councillors, and condemnation of the plan from the Countryside Commission, the Nature Conservancy Council and other bodies, Clydebank Council's Planning Dept recommended refusing permission. Kilpatrick Estates withdrew its application. None of the developers have been heard of again. We believe that creditors, such a solicitors McGrigor Donald and PR company Michael Kelly Associates, were never paid.

Farmer Donald Buchanan, who believed he had sold his Cochnohill Farm to Kilpatrick Estates, bought another elsewhere. He probably suffered a considerable loss. Since Kilpatrick Estates came along this area has had unhappy experiences. After many years of neglect, Cochnohill Farm was bought, and later sold again, and eventually divided up and parts resold. One owner intended to establish a Community Woodland, but felt intimidated and sold out. Another owner planted 250 acres with native broadleaved trees and welcomed responsible access, but he suffered assault, and vandalism to trees and fences, and sold out. Clydebelt has had many complaints and reports from members and others, based on their own experiences, newspaper articles and hearsay, about activities and incidents at this farm and nearby, including from Cochno Road to the Greenside reservoir. They alleged criminal and antisocial behaviour (eg vandalism, arson, threats, intimidation and injury, sheep worrying by dogs, motorbike scrambling and quad bikes), dumping of rubbish and rubble (perhaps not all authorised by the landowners, the council, or SEPA), and a rave that had been proposed.

For many years Clydebelt helped to keep away further attempts to introduce unwelcome built developments on the Kilpatrick Hills, such as a revival of the idea to put an artificial ski slope in the hills. But there have been attempts to rezone the green belt to permit leisure developments and housing (one succeeding), and planning applications for

Sub-topics index: other pages on our Kilpatrick's campaigns
|Seven square miles of hills for developers  |   Raving Mad  |   Medical Technology Laboratories  |   Edinbarnet Saved  |  Community Woodlands | Football stadium  | Drums - garage not house  |  Extension to Douglas Muir Quarry   |  Windfarm proposal |  Equestrian Centre |
back to Kilpatrick's campaigns main page created 13/3/96, last modified 21/12/04 by Dutyhog.


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