MP and MSP say ‘make Town Centre a regeneration site’

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Patchy public transport and the need for more affordable housing are among key issues North Lanarkshire Council must tackle, according to local SNP politicians.

But they also want to see landmark Cumbernauld Town Centre become a town regeneration site.

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP Jamie Hepburn and MP Stuart McDonald sent a joint submission to a council consultation on the area’s development plan – which will update the version brought in five years ago.

Included in the one are proposals for six new housing developments, at Westerwood Golf Club, Napier Road (two sites), Tollpark Road in Castlecary, Banton and at the Village Primary School.

But while welcoming these the SNP duo urged the council to ensure that local amenities and services have sufficient capacity to cope with increased demand.

They have also raised specific concerns about the proposed developments at Banton and the Village Primary School, and the strain they say that increases in population will place on local schools.

Mr Hepburn and Mr McDonald have also repeated their call for the site at the Village Primary School to be returned to the education authorities for use as an annexe to Cumbernauld Primary.

Meanwhile they’ve expressed disappointment that previously-considered new housing developments in Kilsyth and Abronhill haven’t appeared in the draft plan.

Parkfoot Street in Kilsyth and the land behind Napier Road in Cumbernauld have been designated as regeneration sites, but the SNP duo say Kilsyth Main Street and Cumbernauld Town Centre would also benefit from increased investment – and they want the council to designate these as regeneration sites.

In their submission, they raise concerns about the lack of regular bus services in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth and the limited destinations offered. T

They say the council must work with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport to address this, and to ensure that any new developments are supported by appropriate public transport links.

Jamie Hepburn said: “Public transport links and suitable car parking must be at the heart of any new developments in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, and I have urged the council to work with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport to ensure that this is the case.”

Mr McDonald added: “More housing, particularly affordable housing, is to be welcomed in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth but it must be targeted strategically in the areas which need it most and have the amenities and services to support it.

“I have expressed concerns about the proposals to build more houses in Banton and on the land next to the Village Primary School in Cumbernauld because I am not convinced that the existing services and infrastructure could accommodate the increased demand that would come with a boost in population.

“I hope that North Lanarkshire Council will think carefully about this proposal and assess the full impact of the proposed housing development before reaching a decision on how to use this land.”