This is our understanding of where things are with the Masterplan, Planning Application for the Victoria Development and wider planning issues.
Masterplan and Planning Application
Sanctuary has produced a Masterplan for the site (within the boundaries of the development). This can be viewed on this website.
This will be presented to the Council’s Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm City Policy Committee on 13 March “for consideration” i.e. information rather than incorporating specific recommendations for acceptance and/or amendment. This will be accompanied by a Report from City Planners which will comment on the Masterplan and may also refer to wider impacts and issues. This will be available to be seen by the public on the Council’s planning applications website a few days before the Committee date.
After this is expected that the Planning application, already submitted by Sanctuary, will go to the Applications Committee either in April or May for a final decision on the planning approval for the site.
Battlefield Working Group
Meanwhile a Working Group consisting of Councillors, officers and some members of the Victoria Forum has been meeting regularly to review the planning process and address some of the wider issues such as traffic, public space, school capacity and housing
Officers have reported that, according to their forecasts for the next five years, there will be no capacity issue at local primary schools except for Mt Florida and Holy Cross.
Land and Environmental Services officers are working on options for a redesign of the roads and public areas around Battlefield Rest. A public consultation has already taken place on first ideas. Officers are due to present further ideas and options at some point . Funding to deliver any recommended improvement scheme has still to be secured.
Discussions on housing have been about the number and nature of the publicly-subsidised housing units within the development. We understand Sanctuary is proposing 135 of these (out of 413) in 4 distinct separate blocks near the bottom end of the site (ie towards Battlefield Rest).
The Victoria Forum intends to continue to support and attend this Working Group to further pursue the above issues for the benefit of the wider community.
The Victoria Forum has put forward amendments to the Masterplan based on the expressed wishes and needs of the local community. In summary they are:
- A Children’s Play Area – within the site and this is only available land with the whole of Langside /Battlefield where there is no play area outside of Queens Park. Sanctuary has rejected this
- A Community Room – because there are limited non commercial community meeting and social spaces within the area especially for older people. Sanctuary has rejected this.
- Pedestrian Safety – new safe pedestrian crossings will be needed across Langside Road opposite the Park entrance and also at Grange Road. These are as yet not planned or funded
- Housing Types – The inclusion of some town houses as well as flats. Sanctuary rejected this. An increased number of 3 or 4 bed units from the proposed 38 in order to improve opportunities for families to stay in or move to the area. Sanctuary rejected this.
- Housing Tenure – There is a strong desire and need for a range of affordable houses for rent, including some social housing. As yet there are no details on the make up of proposed 135 (supported) units – for example what % will be easier to buy schemes such a shared equity, or mid market ( ie lower ) rent or indeed if there will be any social housing units at all. It is also unclear how many will be fully disabled access. We were are informed that none of this is relevant to the Masterplan or planning application and will be decided by council officers without reference to a Committee at a later date.
On behalf of the community we will continue to press that the development is not approved without provision for an adequate play area, community space, safe pedestrian crossings and that the publicly subsidised 135 units reflect the needs of the community.
Throughout this process we have argued that what is needed is a Local Development Plan or Framework based on some social, economic and environmental analysis of the area within which planning applications such as the Victoria site can be assessed. A good local example is the Shawlands Town centre Plan.
Council planners have accepted that this would be the sensible approach but have stated that they have no intention of doing one because they claim not to have the resources and that there are other areas with higher priority. We are not sure why our local Councillors have not yet requested them to reprioritise. We will continue to press for a comprehensive Planning and Development Framework for the Langside/Battlefield and Mt Florida Area.
Download this statement here.