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Financial Integrity, Football

Lennoxtown: Is it Green Belt Compatible? Is it Leisure/Recreational?

LTC 4

Celtic’s Lennoxtown Training Centre really merges with the landscape. There is a seamless transition from the fields and forest to the ‘Greenbelt Compatibletraining facility. As you can see it’s extremely hard to spot the training centre.

The justification for allowing Celtic to purchase the 19.45 hectares cheaply and to build their training facility at Lennoxtown rests on East Dunbartonshire Council Planning’s acceptance that the development was Greenbelt Compatible and Leisure/Recreational.

Greenbelt Compatible?

Have a look at photographs of Lennoxtown Training Centre. Please tell me they look Greenbelt Compatible:

LTC 1

LTC 2

The building is THREE stories high. Is this what is called a low profile development?

The colours do not blend into the ‘green‘ belt. They are white, grey & blue – all light colours

The roof according to the designers is 55 metres in length and 4,000 sq. metres. As can be seen above, a building that size doesn’t fit easily into a forested green landscape or the category of Greenbelt Compatible.

And is the development respectful to it’s locality – does it fit in with other buildings in the area?

LTC 3

Did Historic Scotland have no input into this development? Look how close the training centre is to Lennox Castle building. Well at least the fence is ‘green‘ even though not ‘greenbelt compatible‘.

Still you would have to worry about the future of the castle building with Celtic’s track record on proximity to historic buildings:

Janitor1

And the approach to the facility lets you know you are approaching a ‘Greenbelt Compatible’ area? It’s more like approaching a secure facility like a jail.

Gates

You have to wonder what sort of parallel world East Dunbartonshire council planners live in to approve the above as Greenbelt Compatible.

Leisure/Recreational?

It isn’t even worth defending the ridiculous claim that Lennoxtown Training Centre is any way Leisure/Recreational. What Lennoxtown really is, is a private multi-million football player development centre and very little to do with the communities health & well-being

When the Lennox Castle Hospital grounds sell-off was first proposed, via The Lennoxtown Initiative charity vehicle, one of the main community issues was the lack of community leisure & recreational facilities in Lennoxtown. So the locals were fed the line that this would be a priority when selling the hospital groundsThe planning decision by East Dunbartonshire was a deception played on the community to create the illusion of consultation in order to get their permission to sell the land.

One of the Key Projects of The Lennoxtown Initiative, which was to distribute the residual funds [I don’t believe there were any] from the sale of the Lennox Castle Hospital land, according to their 2007-08 annual report, was ‘the enhancement of sporting and leisure facilities‘:

Li projects

Did it happen? Not very much.

This appears to be all that amounted to Lennoxtown Initiative’s contribution – the local Lennoxtown Junior football teamCampsie Black Watch, got their New facilities in 2006Portakabins:

Black Watch new premises 2006

One of the latest posts on the team’s Facebook page says:

and the success in the last five years has been done without the help of a HOME pitch , the Station road park is now almost always unplayable no matter what the weather , such a shame , one of the best settings in the country to play football and the park is a never playable

So where is the local community benefiting from this ‘Leisure/Recreational‘ development when the local football team doesn’t?

The Lennoxtown Initiative appear to claim they got the MUGA [Multi Use Games Area] and Play area but the funding came from sources other than the sale of the hospital land. This Kirkintilloch Herald 2007 article says:

Funding for the 40,000 multi use games area at High Park has been received from the Landfill Tax Scheme, via SCORE Environmental Limited, Strathclyde Police and Scottish Football Association.

The 80,000 cost of the play facilities has been met by funding from the Landfill Tax Scheme, AWG Ltd, Lennox Homes and East Dunbartonshire Council.

At the beginning, when Celtic’s facility just opened, they allowed a few school groups to come in occasionally. But can it really be said to be benefiting the whole community? Before the development, locals walked through the forest area of Lennox Castle grounds but that stopped when the fences went up. The grounds recreational usage went down.

When the school kids were visiting Lennoxtown, were Celtic doing it out of the goodness of their hearts or as a money making venture. There was something called the Celtic Service Level Agreement and that will be the subject of the investigation in the next post.

 ©footballtaxhavens.wordpress.com 2014 CC-by icon

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Discussion

5 thoughts on “Lennoxtown: Is it Green Belt Compatible? Is it Leisure/Recreational?

  1. When WILL Celtic or any council body actually be called to account over all of this deception?

    Posted by Robert Johnston | February 11, 2014, 11:33 am
  2. Keep it comming my friend I am loving this

    Posted by Harry | February 11, 2014, 9:14 pm
  3. Reblogged this on McMurdo Media.

    Posted by billmcmurdo | February 12, 2014, 12:07 am
  4. I feel very sorry for the local community in this area. They now have a NO GO AREA and a fenced off ugly looking Prison type building that could have been shared with both public and private utilisation. Something like Hearts did at Herriot Watt University in Edinburgh? I’m sure they’re as annoyed at the apparent cover up as they are with the loss of potential revenue to their community with nothing to show for it.
    I’ve had to watch the land around my family home become building sights and unaffordable housing schemes while we lost out on green fields and wooded areas, due to the green belt designation being suspiciously overturned by Labour in the late 70s. I wonder how many other dodgy land deals have been done under suspect Councils that await investigation.

    Posted by Scott Macboy | February 12, 2014, 10:18 am
  5. Excellent work again sir, sooner or later they must be brought to book for all these dodgy deals.

    Posted by jackblack | February 12, 2014, 1:24 pm

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