Monday, 21 October 2013

City Council meeting tonight - West End Park and Ride proposal defeated

Tonight, after my weekly Monday ward surgeries at the Mitchell Street Centre and the West Park Centre, I took part in the City Council's Development Management Committee meeting at which, after listening to very well-prepared deputations, I moved refusal of the Park and Ride Proposal for Riverside on the following grounds:

"The proposed development is contrary to Policy 66B (Protection of Other Open Space) of the Dundee Local Plan Review 2005 as it fails to meet the criteria set out within Policy 66A and is not consistent with a park master plan, strategy or programme approved by the Council to improve the management of open space. There are no material considerations of sufficient strength to justify the granting of planning permission contrary to the provisions of the development plan.

The proposal is contrary to Policy 70 (Semi-Natural Greenspaces of Local Nature Conservation Importance) of the Dundee Local Plan Review 2005 as the proposal adversely affects the nature conservation qualities of the nature park having an adverse impact on breeding birds which utilise the woodland habitat within and close to the site boundary. There are no material considerations that would justify approval of the proposal contrary to the provision of the development plan."

I am pleased to say that my motion was accepted unanimously by committee as the committee's Convener was unable to find a seconder to propose his motion to agree to the park and ride proposal.

The decision tonight is, in my view, in the best interests of local residents - over 400 signed a petition against the park and ride proposal - and also for the future of the Riverside Nature Park.

On another agenda item, I supported a move to modify a legal agreement associated with a planning application at Kingsway West Retail Park, which would have allowed for the opening of a new Next Home and Garden store - the first such home and garden Next operation in Scotland.    Regrettably, the move was defeated by a small margin - a very disappointing outcome given that the Next proposal would have resulted in a £4.3 million investment and a net gain of some 85 new jobs for Dundee.