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AGM 2013

HCWG’s Annual General Meeting was held on 21 January 2013: Click here for details. (33KB PDF)

December 2012

With still no announcement from Argyll and Bute Council on the action it intended to take against the unlawful felling at Cumberland Avenue, HCWG members collected a petition signed by over 300 local residents, calling on the Council to use all necessary powers at its disposal to ensure that the land was reinstated as an amenity area with suitable replanting for the benefit of local people and the local environment, without any further delay. On 4 December, the petition was personally presented to Councillor Roddy McCuish, then Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, by HCWG Convenor, David Adams

November 2012

There was an enthusiastic response from local people to HCWG’s draft management plan for Castle Woods, when it was presented to a public meeting held at Lomond School Sports Hall on 16 November 2012. For more information, see the reports at:

Strong response to Castle Woods plan (1.5MB PDF)

Public support for HCWG’s management plan for Castle Woods

Public support for plan to protect woodland

TV report on public meeting

On 8 November 2012, HCWG launched our own draft management plan to secure the long-term future of Castle Woods as a sustainable community woodland. For more information, see the reports at:

Hope takes root for community woods

Community Woodland Group takes initiative: public meeting on Helensburgh’s Castle Woods

New bid to protect woodland launched

TV report draft management plan

October 2012

Jutland CourtThe future of the derelict Jutland Court, adjoining Castle Woods generated considerable local controversy during October 2012.

HCWG’s position was clearly stated by its convenor, David Adams, who emphasised that the Group welcomed any plans to redevelop Jutland Court.  He added “Our view is that a redevelopment would take away the need to undertake development at Castle Woods as it will provide Osborne Interiors with enough work some time whilst meeting the need for affordable housing.” For more information, see the following reports:

Derelict Jutland Court refurbishment?

Plans to refurbish ex-MOD flat blocks (2.4MB PDF)

Planners under scrutiny on developers Osbornes’ manoeuvres in Helensburgh

So what is happening at Helensburgh’s Jutland Court?

August to October 2012

cumberland-avenuePolitical support for HCWG’s campaign to tackle the wasteland left by the 2011 felling at Cumberland Avenue intensified with visits from Alan Reid MP, Jackie Baillie MSP and from local SNP, Liberal Democrat and Conservative councillors. For more information, see the reports at:

Helensburgh Community Woodland Group gets a clean sweep of the politicals in Cumberland Avenue campaign

TV report on visit by Alan Reid MP

LibDem politicians visit eyesore felled site at Helensburgh’s Cumberland Avenue

Baillie tells Helensburgh developer to clean up Cumberland Avenue

TV report on visit of Jackie Baillie MSP

August 2012

In, HCWG launched its campaign to Save Castle Woods, eventually generating over 300 letters of objection to Osborne Interiors’ planning application to develop a 72-unit housing estate on the site of the woods. The company subsequently put the land up for sale but discussions with a major residential developer fell through. We wrote offering to Osborne Interiors offering to negotiate the purchase of the land for use as a community woodland. For more information, see the reports at:

Helensburgh’s Castle Woods saga: developer backs off but with a decoy on Cumberland Avenue

Castle Woods: Osborne Interiors home free in Helensburgh Advertiser

TV report on progress of  Castle Woods Campaign

Campaign launched to save Helensburgh’s Castle Woods

Helensburgh development sees council planners go for open source decision taking

TV report on launch of Castle Woods Campaign

April and May 2012

Osborne Interiors offered to replant the Cumberland Avenue site, provided they proceed with extensive housing development at Castle Woods as well as building one house at Cumberland Avenue – David Adams, HCWG’s Convenor, expressed strong criticism of any attempt to influence planning decisions in this way.

Campaigner’s fury over deal ‘sweetener’

Fury over woodland home plan

Osborne Interiors pursue the dance of the chain saws in Castle Woods

Concern over Castle Woods

April 2012

HCWG contacted all candidates standing for local elections for Argyll and Bute Council within the Helensburgh and Lomond wards and published their individual views on the future of Castle Woods and the Cumberland Avenue site. You can download this leaflet here.

October 2011

Despite strong opposition from HCWG and Helensburgh Community Council (and a formal offer from HCWG to purchase the land for a community woodland), Osborne Interiors managed to secure planning permission for three houses on the smaller Cumberland Avenue site. For more information, see the reports at:

Builders in save our jobs pleas

Community bid to buy site

May and June 2011

On the May Bank Holiday, when council offices were closed, Osborne Interiors began to fell the protected woodland on the larger Cumberland Avenue site. Despite strong opposition from HCWG, including a public demonstration on the footpath adjacent to the woodland, the company eventually managed to persuade the Council to allow felling of the larch trees (but not of the other species, most of which were also felled). When virtually all the woodland had been destroyed, the contractors stopped work under threat of legal action from the Council. For more information, see the reports at:

Helensburgh’s Cumberland Avenue saga: planners trying not to hop to a Dance tune?

HCWG leaflet – Wasteland to woodland (394KB PDF)

Go-ahead given for trees to be felled (2.0MB PDF)

Protest as trees get the chop (4.9 MB PDF)

TV Report on ‘Save our Trees’ demonstration