MSP’s warning on Mossend railfreight park appeal

Mossend  railhead - PD Stirling Ltd.
Mossend railhead - PD Stirling Ltd.

Bellshill residents fighting a proposed international railfreight park on greenbelt land near their homes may yet face a battle to stop the project.

Campaigners against Mossend Railhead operators PD Stirling’s expansion plans celebrated last week when North Lanarkshire Council rejected the firm’s application for planning permission.

But the firm could yet appeal against the decision - and local MSP Michael McMahon believes the project could still being given the go-ahead by the Scottish Government.

The Uddingston and Bellshill MSP has been in regular contact with the firm throughout the process, but said he remained concerned that the scale of the railfreight plan ‘sits badly’ with the local community.

He also said the Scottish Government has been ‘less than transparent’ in their involvement.

He said: “I met with representatives of Peter D Stirling on a number of occasions and was left in no doubt that they were confident of success in this application.

“The company feels that it has responded positively to the concerns expressed by myself and the local community and that its proposal addresses all of the technical considerations raised by North Lanarkshire Council officials and Scottish Government agencies.

“The fact that all of the Scottish Government agencies with responsibility in relation to this plan gave it their blessing and that the Mossend site has been included in the Scottish Government’s National Planning Framework leaves me in no doubt that the company will remain confident that their plan will ultimately be approved by Scottish Ministers.

“Time will tell whether that will be the case or if the views of the local community and its local representatives will be given greater weight than those of the Scottish Government’s own officials.”