Frustrated community group, the Friends of Cumbernauld House Park, this week demanded action be taken to finalise a car park promised to the area two years ago. When North Lanarkshire Council granted planning permission for the conversion of, grade-A listed, Cumbernauld House, planning conditions clearly stated “the public car park for Cumbernauld House Park users plus access to the car park shall be formed and available for use prior to the occupation of the first residential unit”. The group believes at least one residential unit is now occupied but they are still waiting for the largest town park in North Lanarkshire to have a properly formed car park.
The original Design Statement submitted to North Lanarkshire Council for the Cumbernauld House development stated “CHB Developments (Cumbernauld House owners) have proposed that the remaining section of the west yard be designated as public car parking. This would provide approximately 43 public spaces, adjacent to the entrance to the allotments”. The Design Statement also displayed the proposed design for the car park, showing a properly formed car park, with lined spaces, and an overgrown area of planting removed to maximise available space, but none of this has been delivered.
Repeated contact between the Friends of Cumbernauld House Park and North Lanarkshire Council have proved to be a waste of time as the car park area remains under the ownership of Cumbernauld House, with the owners unwilling to fulfil their planning obligations and eager for North Lanarkshire Council to take ownership of the land, something they won’t do while in its present condition.
North Lanarkshire Council have actually deemed the planning condition to be closed as the area is being used for parking but Adam Smith, Chair of the Friends of Cumbernauld House Park, said “The only reason the car park area is being used is because there is nowhere else to for the users of Cumbernauld House Park to leave their vehicles. The car park area is in an incredibly poor condition and; with inadequate lighting, trip hazards, and dense woodland; is a danger to personal safety. The access road is also riddled with potholes and presents a risk of serious damage to vehicles and the potential for injury. We need this car parking area, and the access road from the Wilderness Brae, to be upgraded to a reasonable standard as soon as possible, and we will be discussing this at our next meeting and AGM, which will take place on Monday 8th April at 7pm in Cumbernauld Theatre”.
Another planning condition states that directional signage to the car park “shall be erected prior to the occupation of the first residential unit”. Until recently, the only signage in place was a faded piece of wood nailed to a tree. This has since been removed and now leaves no signage at all. This appears to be another planning condition which the Cumbernauld House owners have failed to carry out and which North Lanarkshire Council have failed to enforce.
In November last year, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman upheld a complaint against North Lanarkshire Council for having failed to enforce planning conditions set on a residential development requiring the upgrading of an access road, and it appears North Lanarkshire Council may not have learned their lesson from previous mistakes.