A DEVELOPER is keeping alive the possibility of massive residential development on the northern edge of Glasgow.
Caledonian Properties is mounting a determined defence of proposals for 500 houses on fields at Blackhill Farm, near Summerston.
It has raised concerns about the validity of a study which looked at the feasibility of development, prompting its withdrawal from consideration by a Glasgow City Council committee meeting.
The study had concluded that the 90-acre site between Blackhill Road and the River Kelvin should remain as greenbelt because of a variety of issues including transport, local facilities, the environment and housing supply.
Caledonian had already submitted an application seeking approval for the principle of residential development but has now lodged a new one, seeking to address the study’s arguments against housing.
A planning statement on behalf of Caledonian explains: “The feasibility study was to be considered by the Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm City Policy Committee in November but was withdrawn from the committee on 17th November, due to concerns raised by our client about the validity of the study.
“In order to give the council and our client time to properly consider the correct approach to the feasibility study and our clients’ proposals for development at Summerston, we have been instructed to withdraw the current application and resubmit.”
It continues: “The anticipated net deliverable area in terms of new housing is significantly less than the total site extent and the development incorporates large areas of open space and green network connections.
“The masterplan makes reference to three initial phases with an indicative capacity of approximately 500 units. Whilst the application seeks to establish the principle of development across a wider site, it is expected that only the first three phases would be immediately deliverable.”
The planning statement adds: “A range of unit types and sizes will provide choice and variety, appealing to a broad market sector. This site will provide new housing of a range of house types and tenures and will meet the need for new family housing within Glasgow City.
“The masterplan development will create an attractive place for people to live in a safe and well-connected environment, close to local amenities and supporting local schools and facilities. When considered as a whole, the site provides an opportunity to create a sustainable development resulting in a new high-quality residential neighbourhood in Summerston.
“As part of the original masterplan submission, the applicant proposed a community and neighbourhood facility within the site which could have included local shops, a doctors/dentist or community facilities.
“Following feedback from local residents, Caledonian Properties would be prepared to make a financial contribution to the existing facilities within the Bellcraig Community Centre.”
The developer said the feasibility study had reached the wrong conclusions about housing land supply and argues: “In recent years there has been a recovery in the market for family housing and the Summerston site will deliver much needed private family housing to an area that has seen no new build private family housing since the development of the extension to neighbouring Grange housing estate by Taylor Wimpey in 2012.
“With the majority of new private housing to the north of Glasgow focused on Robroyston or within neighbouring East Dunbartonshire, Summerston has pent up demand for mid-market family housing.
“As a consequence there is strong interest from private limited companies and the larger private house builders to deliver a quality, well-planned and integrated extension of the existing Summerston settlement.”
This would generate construction value in the region of £57 million and an additional £1 million per year in council tax.
The statement continues: “It will also diversify the existing Summerston house tenure mix offering families the opportunity to grow and prosper within their existing community. Almost 90 per cent of local market buyers move from within Glasgow.
“The proposed development will enable better retention of city residents who would otherwise need to move outwith the city due to the lack of suitable stock.”
A transport assessment has concluded that development of up to 500 houses “could be supported within the existing road network at this time”
The document explains: “The results from the traffic analysis showed that up to 150 homes could be built with no changes to the surrounding road infrastructure other than the site accesses, and incremental improvement to Blackhill Road to reach the site would be required on capacity grounds.
“Development beyond this level would require works to improve Balmore Road / Blackhill Road junction (either to signals or a roundabout), predominantly to address road safety and accessibility issues rather than being capacity driven; completing of Blackhill Road upgrades; works to the Skirsa Street traffic signals (which have been discussed with Glasgow City Council signals team) and within the local Summerston network improvements at the Blackhill Road/Invershiel Road junction (to be upgraded to signals).
“Based on the assessment to date development of up to 500 homes could be accommodated with these works implemented.”
The new application is pending assessment by city planners. It is not clear when the feasibility study will be brought before councillors.