On Wednesday evening GTRA met with the NHS, at their request, after the consultation presentation held in Gartcosh a few weeks ago.
Thanks to Councillor Lennon for facilitating the meeting at his surgery.
The NHS wanted to know the Tenants and Residents concerns, explain where they are in the process and where that process ends. GTRA took this opportunity to inform the NHS of the number of issues which affect Gartcosh. We also stated we had difficulty in that different government depts and levels of government want the area to be all things to all men. We informed them of the following:
- Gartcosh is a community growth area designated to take 3000 additional housing units.
- It is a designated Strategic Economic Investment Location, looking to attract light and heavy industries to the business park.
- Forms part of the seven lochs green infrastructure.
- And now potentially a home to a new university hospital.
GTRA explained it had great difficulty and concerns and this includes the council by its performance in the last 5-year plan and various government depts abilities to square the circle in its aspirations to meet the needs of our community in conjunction with the aims and objectives above.
At the heart of various plans, frameworks, concept statements all government levels have stated that there would be no eroding of the community’s identified characteristics and merging of communities. That infrastructure and amenities and green spaces would be protected, some would be phased and would support existing residents and added to for new development. No part of this vision has been realised for existing residents to date.
There also seems to be an acceptance of change and the semi-rural location will no longer be its main characteristic. If that is the case then why is this retention of identity put forward so forcefully in all the policy documents and it’s something residents want to retain.
Our main topic with the NHS was traffic, air pollution and point out our community’s only experience of a large scale commercial development in the area is the crime campus. This resulted in one of the main infrastructure advantages to Gartcosh residents, especially those who are disabled, rendered useless – the railway park and ride facility. We discussed:
- Parking facilities and if insufficient, the local community would end up hosting visitors parking in our narrow semi-rural streets.
- We raised concerns as to the infrastructure of roads to support, new homes, increases the business park will bring and in addition the 2000 staff requiring to use various means of transport to work at the hospital. This will also include the supply line traffic for the hospital, patients and visitors. So Gartcosh as a destination has to transform in terms of road and rail links. This set against retaining the sites of ecological importance (nature reserve, the wetlands and the seven loch project which includes Johnston Loch) and maintain the green spaces we have.
- This would also impact our neighbours in the surrounding area and solutions in transport links would also have to support additional communities. We raised concerns that their partner NLC had not extended any partnership working to residents in Gartcosh and the wider community in the Northern Corridor with this regard.
- We believe with creative solutions there is no reason why the semi-rural character of Gartcosh needs to change beyond recognition if we are listened too.
The NHS made some valid points, in relation to planning, transport networks and impact. They, unlike developers, are a public body. There does need to be transparency in sharing valid impact assessments, how calculation have been formulated and the need for such a project to be a success.
The consultation and planning are in very early stages and no decision has been made but as plans formulate GTRA will keep you updated.
The main action is to complete the consultation document and make your views known to NHS Lanarkshire, whatever your thoughts are.
You can find the consultation here.