Glen path diversion bid runs into trouble

Glen campaigner Tam McNeil at the Roman bridge section of core path 190
Glen campaigner Tam McNeil at the Roman bridge section of core path 190

Walkers are treating with suspicion plans to divert a footpath that runs through Viewpark Glen.

They fear it could lead to a further expansion of neighbouring Strathclyde Business Park and the loss of woodland.

People are also angry that a public meeting to explain what’s proposed has been pencilled in during the working day when many will be unable to attend.

The glen has been at the centre of protests over the last decade as campaigners fight to protect valuable green space from development.

Viewpark Conservation Group was set up to co-ordinate the campaign and is applying for lottery funding as it attempts to organise a community buyout of the glen.

Four years ago a large area of trees was felled to make way for new offices in the business park’s Western Campus. Now it’s feared the plans to divert what is known as ‘core path 190’ could be linked to further development.

A public consultation will be held at Viewpark Community Centre, Old Edinburgh Road, tomorrow (Wednesday) from 2pm to 4pm. Councillors want to hear the public’s views before making a decision.

A report to North Lanarkshire Council’s environmental services committee said business park owner HFD Property Group is behind the plans. HFD says it will pay for a new footpath link and signs.

The report added: “Some sections of core path 190 are well used, particularly through Viewpark Glen, but the surface of this section of the route is poor and signage is lacking.”

Grace McNeil, of Viewpark Conservation Group, urged people to object to the diversion, saying: “We don’t want this or any further development. We want the glen left as it is.”

Visitors to a council Facebook page were angry at the time of the consultation.

One woman wrote: “The timing is shocking. Many, like myself, will be unable to attend due to work commitments.”

Another resident asked: “Why does the path require to be moved? Seems to work perfectly well as is!”