pre-1939 – Records show there were never any buildings on this land. Note Clouston Street was called Montgomerie Street and Sanda Street (we think) was called Gower Street.
The land was in two parts: the main part was owned by Kelburn Park; the smaller part where the small wood is nowadays was a tennis court originally. This was owned by someone called Dallas and then Kirklee Tennis Club formed.
1939 (1 March) – Glasgow City Council buys both pieces of land using the powers of the Education Act for £4,800. We don’t believe they are under Common Good.
1940 – During WW2 there were barrage balloons on the Land. It was of course near to the BBC on Queen Margaret Drive and hence it was used to protect that building. Also during the War foreign soldiers (mostly Polish) make shift huts on the tennis court which they stayed in.
1946 (from) Used as a sports ground for the local school which was beside Kelbourne Street. It had a running track, sports area and a tennis court. The old small brick building still on the land beside Clouston Street was used as the pupils changing room (there were originally two, one for male and one for female).
At some point the School closed and was turned into a college after which the sports area and tennis courts gradually fell into disrepair.
Local people still used the land as it was a red blaze surface and had a football pitch with goals. However, without upkeep from the Council it fell into a ever greater state of disrepair, and the goal posts were broken and taken away.
Its not known when tennis was last played on the tennis courts, but with trees of 20-30 feet high growing out of the court it will have been a long time ago.
Over the years local people continued to use the ground, though now with no upkeep from the council, for dog walking and occasional games of football, for example. There is also a Right of Way through the land from Kelbourne to Clouston street (used by many kids going to the local school).
1996 (approx) local people sowed grass seed onto the red blaze and planted some trees. They also did the occasional litter pick up. Mother nature then did her thing and a Meadow began to form.
At some point the doors and windows of the old brick building were stolen and the place became a drinking and drug den. Local people didn’t like walking past it and inside it looked like something out of Trainspotting!
2004 (approx) Compendium Trust was formed with a plan for the land. The plan was to build flats on the old former tennis court area (now a wood) and to use the money that would generate to build five-a-side football pitches on the rest of the land. This plan was backed by Glasgow City Council but ultimately failed due to noise legislation because the football pitches were too close to peoples’ homes. The Compendium Trust then ceased.
2008 (March) the Council hired the local Scout Hall and showed four proposals for the land. Each proposal was to build 115 flats – the only difference in the proposals was the architects. Local people were asked which one they supported. No alternative other than selling the land for 115 flats was put forward. It was very difficult to find out how to object to these proposals.
2008 (July) Seeing so many people dismayed and appalled at having no alternative put to them, a local resident hand delivered to 540 local flats a questionnaire asking them what they wanted to happen to the land. Eight-five people responded to the questionnaire. ALL the respondents were against selling the land for flats. The results were sent to the the Council, which rejected the findings out of hand as they wanted the revenue from the sale. They pointed out that the revenue from the sale would be used for many good purposes such as renovating the football pitches off Maryhill Road.
2008 (October) North Kelvin Meadow Campaign was formed to lobby for the land to become a community green space. Local residents started by clearing the land of litter, installing a litter bin, planting flowers and 470 bulbs, installing raised beds, mending fencing, installing compost bins, and putting a door and shutters on the old brick building which is now used as a store room.
2008 Despite the strength of local feeling, the Council continued to state that they wanted to sell the land for between 90 – 115 flats. They had by then chosen one of the four proposals and selected New City Vision Ltd as their preferred buyer. However, the sale to New City Vision Ltd didn’t go forward in 2008 due to the credit crunch. The campaign group pointed out to the Council that any renovation of the existing football pitches on Maryhill Road should stand on its own merits and not be linked in to what happens to land.
2009 Support for campaign grew exponentially. Many local people who had never set foot on the land now used it informally and took part in activities organised by the campaign group. Many local residents wrote to the Council and local councillors to protest against the proposed sale. And online petition started was started which quickly attracted hundreds of signatures.
2009 (19 July) Local residents celebrated the nationwide ‘Big Lunch’ organised by the Eden Project on the Meadow (100+ people took part).
2009 (July) two residents were taken to court by the Council in order to prevent them putting up communal raised beds and bat boxes.
2009 (Dec) New City Vision (NCV) Ltd signed the missives with the Council for the sale of the land but the land was not actually sold. However, it will be if subsequent planning permission is granted. No money has changed hands as that all rest on whether the forthcoming planning application is accepted (or the developer pulls out or the Council changes their mind on selling it!)
2011 Between 30 Nov 2010 – 15 March 2011 New City Vision Ltd, the Council intended developer, conducted a pre Planning consulation with local people. This is needed by law before the main planning application goes in.
2011 (August) The land falls into the new West End Conservation area. This should be good but all depends on whether the Council abides by the rules of the Conservation area.
2011 (23 Sept) after a long delay NCV states they want to test the soil by drilling on it and would like to meet the Campaign group. The campaign groups agrees to meet. But as yet no meeting has taken place. We’ve no idea for the delay but at least people can continue to enjoy the use of the land.
2012 (3 May) Elections held to elect the next group of Councillors across Glasgow. The North Kelvin Meadow campaign writes to each of the potential new Councillors to find out their views. The campaign publishes their responses.
2012 (8 May) New City Vision Ltd submits a planning application to build flats on the Meadow and Children Wood and destroy 480 trees etc. There were many ommisons and errors in it we understand and so its being reworked with a view to being resubmitted. It won’t become a “live” planning application until Glasgow City Council Planning dept accepts their new attempt.
Planning Application 12/00924/DC in:
2012 (December 2012) The Planning Application is made live and the public can view the Plans. We have till the 1st Jan 2013 for all and 5th Jan 2013 if a neighbour of the land to write in and object.
2013 (1 January) North Kelvin Meadow campaign submits its formal objection document to the Council’s Planning officer detailing why planning permission should not be granted for this development.
2013 (7th March 2013) Glasgow City Council Planning Committee meet to decide whether to support or reject New City Vision (NCV) Ltd Planning application to build 90 flats on the design they have submitted. If given the go ahead NCV Ltd will then buy the land and destroy what’s there.