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Housing plan sparks petition

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By Donald Turvill
Annan and Eskdale
Housing plan sparks petition
LIVID . . . Beverly Robinson says Gretna is not fit to hold hundreds of new residents

A FURIOUS Gretna resident says she is “disgusted and disheartened” with developers pushing ahead with another major housing project in the community.

Beverly Robinson has gathered more than 100 signatures on a petition objecting to Alba Group’s plans to build 200 new homes on the site of Gretna’s old golf course.

The 28.5-acre site, which already has planning permission in principle, was acquired by the developers in 2019.

But Ms Robinson has accused them of “trying to push through planning on this site during yet another lockdown”.

And she said residents are being kept in the dark, with only those living within 20 metres receiving notification of the works.

“This crash-brained scheme is of great importance to all residents of Gretna and all should be notified in a proper manner,” she added.

Ms Robinson said Alba Group’s promotional material advertising the development made the area look like “somewhat of a Shangri-la with restaurants, pubs, sporting activities, school, post office, bank, employment and cycle tracks”.

“In truth,” she added, “the restaurants are situated within hotels, there is one pub, sporting activities are a football club. There will be no post office by the end of this month. The cycle track is on the pavement and is a danger to pedestrians. There is very little employment in Gretna as due to the pandemic many jobs have now been lost.

“The roads are potholed as our council appear to have no money to make proper repairs. There is a problem with sewage and also a severe lack of water pressure.”

Drawing attention to ongoing developments in Gretna, she said: “We already have two unfinished and mothballed building sites, one being at the old Halcrow Dog Track the other being The Hawthorns.

There has also been building permission granted for some time on what is known as Mackies field and none of these sites are being built on because there are no buyers and renters to fill them, so just where do the council and Alba Group think they are going to find residents and buyers from?”

She concluded: “I implore all and any people reading this to make their voices heard. Keep our green space for what it was intended, agriculture. Keep Gretna a village.”

Last week, Alba’s managing director Shane Ticklepenny said: “This site will help the local area and bring much-needed family and affordable homes to the area. We are very proud of our plans at Gretna and hope it will inject new life to the village. Our investment will bring an economic boost and attract new families to the area.”

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