Site was ‘gift’ for village

Taylor High was built on land originally intended to be a recreation ground for the people of New Stevenston.
Taylor High was built on land originally intended to be a recreation ground for the people of New Stevenston.

Central Scotland list MSP Richard Lyle is angry North Lanarkshire Council could be set to profit from a gift to the people of New Stevenston.

The land off Carfin Street was originally gifted by the Colville family and spilt between recreation ground and Taylor High.

However in the late 1990s the school took over more of the site when it expanded its sporting facilities.

Mr Lyle, who lives just yards from Taylor High, is annoyed at the thought it may soon become another housing development if and when Taylor merges with Our Lady’s High in Motherwell and moves to a new £36 million campus at Ravenscraig also containing Bothwell Park ASN High.

He said: “After Wrangholm Hall burned down the land was made as a gift to the people of New Stevenston by the Colville family.

“However, about 15 years ago the school took over the half that was meant to be held for use by the village, which I opposed at the time.

“If this proposal goes ahead there will be a situation where the council will likely make a vast profit out of selling this land for housing which is something I can’t tolerate.”

Mr Lyle, a former Bellshill councillor, also has fears over the proposed Ravenscraig site which sits between Calder Park and Prospecthill Road.

He said: “While assurances were given about the land being safe at the learning and leisure services committee meeting the capping was done for houses and the weight limit of an entire school is quite different.

“When I was on the council there was never a proposal to build a senior school at Ravenscraig, just primary schools.

“I am receiving e-mails about the matter and during the consultation will be listening to everyone about concerns they have.”

Learning and Leisure Services convener Jim Logue suggested the council are entitled to do as they wish.

He said: “The land is in public ownership and there is a standard process which we follow.

“We would declare the land surplus to requirements and property services would then put the land on the market.

“But we would be sensitive to any future use given its history as a gift to the people.”

Public meetings take place in Our Lady’s High on March 24, Taylor High on March 25 and Bothwellpark High on March 27, all at 7pm.