Trust

CAMPAIGN WIN – week four

25

May 16

0

Paul Thomson

East Kilbride News

The East Kilbride News Field of Dreams campaign scored a huge victory yesterday (Tuesday) when councillors gave plans for a new stadium the green light.

Over 1000 News readers signed our petition urging South Lanarkshire Council to back EK Community Trust’s plans for a state-of-the art facility in Langlands and councillors approved the proposals in principle at this week’s planning meeting.

For the last five years, disagreements between the Trust and SLC have denied East Kilbride of a major football venue but now our town will finally get the stadium it deserves.

East Kilbride FC’s Lowland League team will play home matches there, while children with additional support needs, boxing and martial arts clubs will also benefit from the facilities on site.

During our five-week campaign, Rangers legends Ally McCoist and John Brown helped drum up support and we also received the backing from East Kilbride MP Lisa Cameron. EKFC’s additional support needs founder Denise Laverty, EK Sports Club, East Kilbride Sports Council and Jackton Amateur Boxing Club also championed the cause.

EKCT chief executive, Monique McAdams, told the News: “We are over the moon at this decision.

“We will now look to secure detailed planning permission from SLC, which will allow for the construction of this capital project to begin. It’s exciting times ahead for the community.”

Ally McCoist said: “The EK News has run a great campaign for the community stadium. The support from the community has been outstanding.”

East Kilbride will have its own football stadium after South Lanarkshire Council approved plans for a 4000-capacity ground in Langlands.

Following a five-week campaign by your local newspaper, which saw 1178 readers sign our petition, councillors gave their support to East Kilbride Community Trust’s proposals at SLC’s planning committee meeting yesterday (Tuesday).

Over the last five years the trust have clashed with the council over plans for a community stadium and this is the first time they have managed to get a planning application to committee.

But they can now push forward with their project to build a state-of-the-art facility off Hurlawcrook Road, which will be home to East Kilbride Football Club’s Lowland League side and clubs from other sports.

At the meeting councillors heard the stadium will feature an artificial 11-a-side pitch, fitness suite and gym, offices, boxing ring and sports hall within the main stand, with provision for 445 car parking spaces and 14 bus spaces.

In the report to the committee it was confirmed the stadium will be used predominantly as a home venue for EKFC and that the pitch will be “made available for hire to local football clubs and clubs from other sports”.

A number of conditions have been attached to the project.

These include ensuring a core path adjacent to the site “shall be safeguarded and remain open during construction works and throughout the use of the stadium” and that “passing places be constructed on the rural section of Hurlawcrook Road southwards to its junction with Millwell Road, and on Langlands Road to its junction with Auldhouse Road”.

The main access point will be to the north of Hurlawcrook Road, via Greenhills Road, and the existing rural road will be widened.

However, during major events access to Hurlawcrook Road and Langlands Road will be prohibited with vehicles using Langlands Drive. 

The report concluded: “The supporting information provided by the applicant confirms that there is a need for such a facility, given the size and success of East Kilbride FC and the various facilities they are proposing to operate from the site.

“The site’s location, away from the town centre, is suitable for a proposal of this size and scale.”

Eight letters of objection were received, some of which referred to the site’s proximity to Langlands Moss Nature Reserve and the possible impact on wildlife.

However, the council’s countryside and greenspace section is satisfied with an ecological survey submitted by the trust and stated it raised no issues of concern.

Sixty-five letters of support were submitted.

East Kilbride Community Trust chief executive Monique McAdams is now looking forward to bringing the project to fruition.

She said: “Our organisation has the community at its heart and we look
to support them in as many ways as they can as well as providing an exemplary service and promoting partnerships.

“This development is a key component of a bigger picture which will allow us as a charity to implement our vision as well as being able to showcase East Kilbride.

“The proposals for the new facility conform well to the aspirations of South Lanarkshire Council, as they contain a clear design vision, based on connectivity with the community and surrounding activities, sustainable development and improved civic amenity.

“We are now ready to take on our next substantial project to benefit the hearts and minds of our community after our last £2.5 million build at K-Park Training Academy.”

East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow MP Lisa Cameron, praised the News campaign for helping push the stadium forward.

She said: “The Field of Dreams campaign has been a great success, highlighting the local support for this fantastic facility.

“This is a great boost to the town, which puts sport at the heart of our community.

“East Kilbride is here for business and this is certainly a very important and positive step to putting our town back on the map.”