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. Its not known when tennis was last played on the tennis courts, but with trees of 30 feet high growing out of the court it will have been a long time ago.

1993 – 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 taken away by the Council in 1993.

1994 – local people sowed grass seed onto the red blaze and planted some trees and shrubs. They also did litter pick ups.  Mother nature then did her thing and a Meadow and wood began to form. The 500+ trees seen today are from that initial planting. Over the following years local people continued to use the ground, though now with no upkeep from the council: for dog walking and occasional games, many kids (of all ages) used the land for informal play, socialising and adventures!

There is also a Right of Way through the land from Kelbourne to Clouston street (used by many kids going to the local school).

1995 – the Council formally states the land is surplus to their requirments. No community consultation was carried out on what it was now being used for or how people wanted it to be used going forward. Thats a very importnat point to make, as with out that the Council didn’t know whether people were using the land and what for . Its always been used by the community and Council’s policy is very clear in that people should be consulted if decsions are made to change that.

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. Note no consulation was given on what the land should be used for , just what style of flats.

2008 (July) Seeing so many people dismayed and appalled at having no alternative put to them, a local resident Douglas A Peacock 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 Group 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 was due to 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. However their planning application was deemed not to be complete by the Council Planning Officer Ian Black who has requested they fill varies gaps such as provide an Eco survey of the Land.

2015 (16th April 2015) New City Vision provide the Council Planning Officer Ian Briggs with requested gaps in their application. Council are due to write to local residents and groups asking for their views probably the week commencing 27th April 2015. However there was an admin error by the council and these letters should get sent out on 4th June 2015.

2015 (June 4th – 29th June 2015) consultation period. The clock starts once the Council letters get sent. Note anyone, anywhere can object to a planning application. Council deadline for all objections is 29th June 2015.

2015 (at a meeting sometime between Aug to Dec 2015) Councillors on the Planning Committee will vote on whether to destory the North Kelvin Meadow and Children Wood. If they vote in favour of the housing application New City Vision Ltd buys the land and begins building or sells it off to another developer.

2016 (21st Dec 2016) the Scottish Ministers have delivered their verdict and backed the decision by the Reporter Mr Cunliffe that the planning housing application by New City Vision Ltd be refused. This is a huge decision and means this land is saved for this and future generations!

2020  Glasgow City Council gives a 25 year lease of the land to The Children Wood and Meadow.  There had been back and forth neg. on whether a clause would be inserted giving the right for the Council to build a nursery school on the land but this was deleted from the lease and so gives this community the safe guard this land won’t be built on. It should be mentioned about 6 nursery schools and 20 schools already use the land on a regular basis for the benefit of their kids.

Ongoing  We continue to mange the land so that local people get max benefit from having a wild green community space for them and their families to benefit from. We spend alot of time and effort looking after the Trees, Grass, Flowers, Fencing and Wildlife. Get that right and all the other stuff like family picnics, walking, playing , forest schooling, nursery and school groups etc falls into place.

6 Responses to Timeline

  1. mairi17 says:

    The fields were still in use in the 1970s – we had our school sports day on them, and the council was maintaining them at this time. I recall using the changing rooms in the early 80s while a student at NK.

    At Guy Fawkes, the community would have fireworks here, with special homemade fireworks from some local residents. Those were the best! I lived in the fire station, and with all the firemen around we’d get through Bonfire night injury free.

    I think the tennis courts still had nets in the 70s, but I may be wrong. I mainly rode my bike around the fields, and played with friends there. Good luck fighting the development.

  2. Panda says:

    I played football on the ash pitch in 89/90. It was the only walkable pitch from Glasgow Uni and was used for Intramural Games. The changing rooms weren’t accessible so we changed by the side of the pitch.

  3. Just prior to the council removing the goal posts in 1993, the blaze pitches were in good repair and well used with flood lighting. The council sacked the groundsman, removed the goal posts and dug large holes in the pitch to stop them being used. Later bonfires on Guy Fawkes Night were held on the ground. I recently painted a picture from a photo I took at the time.

    • Thanks Nigel for that information. Be great to see a photo of the picture you drew of the photo. We don’t have that much from those times. Do you have any information on the two tennis courts? Last played etc? Also why did they leave one hut up (the one we use today)?

    • I’ve done a back calculation and they must of removed the goal posts in 1995 when we moved opposite the Red Rec (as it was known then). There was only one changing hut then – tennis courts were derelict. I also helped with initial sowing of the meadow grass. The bonfire painting called Home FIres Burning is on my website. https://www.nigel-johnson-nij-fine-art.co.uk/

  4. Thanks again Nigel. Its quite a balancing act regarding the bonfires on the land. We have One Fire Pit used at people own risk. Unfortuantly however sometimes others happen or portable BBQ which all then damage the land. We also don’t want the land’s woodland branches and twigs all burned as then there is no ground canopy for wildlife or to rot down into the soil. More lives on dead wood than live. Wood within this and other city environments also have nails and staples in them which get left in the ash afterwards which has to be bag and taken away ie it tends to be from furniture. Really interesting your painting based on your photo. Hopefully todays fires aren’t nearly as big! How about doing a painting based on what you see now? Something that sums the land up. One of the good things about the land being so wild and natural now is it changes with the seasons. Feel free to keep in touch at northkelvinmeadow@gmail.com

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