Jun 26 2008 By Fraser Wilson
PARK PROTESTORS HAND PETITION TO JUSTICE MINISTER STURGEON
CAMPAIGNERS against the adventure park development planned for Pollok Park were due to hand a 5000-signature petition over to the Scottish Parliament this week.
A sizeable group of supporters were to travel to Holyrood where they hoped to hand over the document to Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
They oppose the planned Go Ape development which would see the overhead adventure park with zip wires developed in the North Wood area of the park.
Glasgow City Council approved the plan following a site meeting three months ago. But in light of the strong opposition from locals and heritage groups, the proposal was referred to Scottish Ministers who have until July 9 to decide whether to call in the application.
A Save Pollok Park spokesman explained: "The petition opposes the building of a Go Ape adventure course in Pollok Park. In particular we are opposed to the current site in North Wood. Pollok is a unique country estate within the city which is free to use for all. It is 25 years this week since the Burrell Collection was opened and the architects - Sir Barry Gasson and John Meunier - have said the Go Ape buildings in full view of the main museum gallery would 'destroy the magic of the collection'."
The campaigners were thunderstruck when Glasgow City Council planning committee side-stepped massive public disapproval for the scheme and voted 14 to 6 in favour in March.
Campaigners who voiced their objections at the tense committee meeting left "bitterly disappointed" they had lost this round of their battle.
A council spokesman said at the time: "The decision - as with any planning application - was made on the merits of the application."
They say the council's consultation process was inadequate and accused councillors of "riding roughshod" over the requests of the park's bene-factors, the Stirling Maxwell family.
The park was gifted to the people of Glasgow by the family in 1969 on the understanding that nothing be done there which could be deemed a nuisance.
Following March's decision, Go Ape Chief Executive Tristram Mayhew said: "We are of course pleased that the application has been approved at this stage and we are very grateful to the hundreds of people who have sent in letters of support.
"However we are aware this may be a disappointment to those who have objected to the Go Ape course in Pollok Park. We are sensitive to the concerns expressed and will continue to listen and to see where we can accommodate particular worries.
"We believe the Go Ape course will provide a socially and environmentally responsible activity which we hope will encourage people to enjoy the tree tops from a unique and fun perspective."
Ms Sturgeon, MSP for Govan, has repeatedly opposed the application on the grounds that Pollok Park is not the right place.