Greengairs in North Lanarkshire is a village that is metres away from Europe’s largest landfill site. Currently the Greengairs community is devastated by a decision that has given the go ahead for a new incinerator to be built across the road from the landfill site. The reason for their devastation is not just that the application was given approval, but the manner in which it was approved.
For six years, several community groups in the area worked together with the landfill operators and the Council’s local plan team in drawing up proposals. The proposals they produced did not include an incinerator but did include a community recycling initiative and reuse facilities. Through their hard work they were ab le to significantly influence the new structure plan and the new, (but not finalised) local plan. In short the community came up with a forward looking solution, in their own time, using their own resources, and in the process learnt how to take part in Scotland’s complex planning system.
Unlike the community, however, the developer disregarded the structure and local plan process, ignored the community proposals and put in an application for an incinerator. In the end the decision to grant planning permission was made using the old local plan which was by now nearly 20 years out of date and certainly did not reflect the current community’s aspirations.
Planning Democracy says “The system has failed this already marginalised community who were willing, despite the difficulties, to work out a sustainable proposal. The public are labeled as NIMBY’s if they do take part in planning or apathetic if they don’t. This community got involved in a constructive, proactive way and still the developer comes in, disregards the process and wins. What kind of a message does this send to others?”