Nature reserve homes go-ahead

RSPB says housing will be bad for adjacent Barons Haugh Nature Reserve.
RSPB says housing will be bad for adjacent Barons Haugh Nature Reserve.

Protestors have failed in another attempt to prevent homes being built on the edge of Motherwell’s Barons Haugh Nature Reserve.

Seventeen houses are earmarked for ground at Lawson Avenue despite a claim by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds that it’s “directly adjacent” to an important breeding site.

Plans for 14 houses and four flats on the same site were approved by North Lanarkshire Council five years ago. There were more than 50 objections from nearby residents at that time, but no work went head and a fresh application was granted by the planning committee last week.

Councillors were told of 12 objections this time, with complaints that the number of houses is too much and the development will be out of character with existing homes.

Concerns were also raised about the loss of trees. The developers say 104 are diseased and must be removed while another eight will be felled to make way for the houses.

However, officials pointed out the principle of housing on the site is already established. Trees lost will be replaced and 58 trees will be kept in order to “retain the natural character and appearance of the site”.

On the issue of bird breeding, a report to the committee concluded: “The proposed development is not considered to be introducing a volume of houses, people, cats and dogs that will overwhelm the area.”