Removal of banners sparks fury at Ravenscraig site

Appalled protesters in a “David and Goliath battle” are demanding to know why a peaceful protest involving hanging banners on a site proposed for a vast £200 million railway freight hub were taken down.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 4:14 pm

The removable of the banners from the Ravenscraig area has sparked fury from nearby residents who are doing their utmost to stop one of the most controversial planning proposals of recent years.

But they argue that their right to protest has effectively been taken away along with those banners that cost hundreds of pounds.

Ryan O’Donnell, Chair of the Ravenscraig Community Action Group, said: “From a standing start, our small group has mobilised in a David and Goliath battle against a rushed proposal that would change the character of Motherwell and surrounding communities forever.

“A direct reversal of once ambitious plans for regeneration, the proposals would see a massive industrial complex operating 24/7 dominating the skyline, built on land zoned for new and affordable homes, with over 800 HGV movements a day trundling through Motherwell and local communities in phase one alone.

"With only £200 to campaign against a £200m development, we’ve worked hard to raise awareness of the plans. What we’ve found is that people have no idea of the scale of the plans or the negative impact on communities. This will affect those in Carfin and Newarthill, right through Ravenscraig, Motherwell and down Airbles Road.

"When they do find out, they’re furious.We expect a fair fight, not foul play. Removing banners which encourage public participation in the planning process is not only petty, it’s deeply worrying.

"They can strip down our banners but won’t stop our campaign.

"That’s why we’re encouraging people to object and are launching a community fighting fund and pledging to re-double our efforts to fight for a better future for Motherwell and Lanarkshire. Not an HGV superhighway through local towns.”

North Lanarkshire Council as the planning authority declined to comment on the removal of the banners.

The developer did not respond to our request for comment.