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March 2015: Time to “Clear out that Mess!”

piled debris in March 2015Almost four years after woodland at Cumberland Avenue, Helensburgh, was unlawfully felled by its owners in May and June 2011, HCWG says it is high time that the mounds of debris and logs still remaining on the site were cleared out. That’s why we’ve initiated a new campaign to persuade Argyll and Bute Council to take action under Section 179 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 to require the removal of leftover debris and logs.

There are four reasons why this needs to be done as early as possible

  1. What’s left behind is essentially waste material from an industrial felling operation that has no place in a designated Open Space Protection Area within a residential area. The sooner it’s removed, the sooner natural regeneration can take place.
  2. The debris and logs pose a real danger, especially to children. If there’s ever a serious accident, then the landowners, and by implication the Council if it decides not to act, will bear a very heavy responsibility.
  3. The Council must finish the job it began last year, when it took direct action to replant 28 trees, and served enforcement notices that secured the removal of the building materials unlawfully stored on site and the lowering of the perimeter fence. The full benefits of these earlier actions will be evident only when the mounds of debris and logs are removed.
  4. There is a very strong determination among local residents to see the land at Cumberland Avenue cleared and restored and this has been backed by public visits by the MP, MSP and local councillors from across the political spectrum. Taking action now will demonstrate the Council’s commitment to its local communities.

HCWG has written to Councillor David Kinniburgh, Chair of Argyll & Bute’s Planning, Protective Services and Licensing Committee, making the formal request for action to be taken. You can read that letter here, along with the leaflet we are distributing in the neighbourhood around Cumberland Avenue. We will then be collecting signatures on a petition to be presented to the Councillor Kinniburgh and the Leader of the Council before the April meeting of the PPSL.

If you can help delivering leaflets or collecting signatures on the petition, please get in touch with Gordon Greig at gordon_greig@talk21.com

For more information, see:
For Argyll: 4 years after developers’ unlawful felling, Helensburgh Community Woodland Group calls time on the debris
Lochside Press: Clean-up called for at Cumberland Avenue

April 2013 (2)

On 26 April 2013, it was announced that J Allan Osborne (Preservations) Ltd had been placed into voluntary liquidation. This was one of four related companies for which Margery Osborne and Thomas Paterson were listed as directors. The other three companies, which were unaffected by the liquidation of J Allan Osborne (Preservations) Ltd, were Osborne (Builders) Ltd, Parkhaven Ltd and Osborne Interiors Ltd. These three companies still remain in active business as evident from on the Companies House register, which can be searched here:

The Companies House register also reveals that, earlier in April 2013, the registered name of Osborne Interiors Ltd had been changed to Parkhaven (Property) Ltd and that of J Allan Osborne (Preservations) Ltd to Parkwood (Glasgow) Ltd. At the same time, the registered offices of the companies were transferred from Helensburgh to a firm of accountants in Glasgow.

Importantly, Castle Woods and the land at Cumberland Avenue is owned by Margery Osborne and Thomas Paterson as individuals and not by their companies. These sites were thus not directly affected by the liquidation of J Allan Osborne (Preservations) Ltd.

Owners lodge appeal against replanting order

Cumberland Avenue, Helensburgh - ripping saplings

On 13 March 2013, Margery Osborne and Thomas Paterson, the owners of former woodland at Cumberland Avenue, appealed to the Scottish Government against the Tree Replacement Notice issued by Argyll and Bute Council. Surprisingly, the Scottish Government Reporter, who issued his decision on 4 June 2013, reduced the number of trees required to be replanted from 109 to 28, but still required the work to be completed by 15 November 2013.

At the same time, the Reporter dismissed the landowners claim for expenses against Argyll and Bute Council.
You can download details of the appeal decisions on the Scottish Government website here