HCWG’s Annual General Meeting was held on 21 January 2013: Click here for details. (33KB PDF)
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
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 plan to protect woodland
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:
The 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:
Plans to refurbish ex-MOD flat blocks (2.4MB PDF)
Political 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:
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:
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.
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:
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:
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)
You are invited to support the work of Helensburgh Community Woodlands Group either in addition to your membership subscription or as a separate donation.
Castle Woods: here we are seeking to save the historic Woods from destruction by a proposed housing estate of between 48 and 72 dwellings and ensure instead that it is turned into a well-managed community woodland.
Cumberland Avenue: here, we are working hard to secure the restoration of land at where woods were felled in 2011.
These campaigns have been widely reported in the local press and on the internet. You can access the latest news and past stories below, including that directly from HCWG.
We would encourage you to respond to recent news by ‘leaving a reply’ at the relevant website or sending a letter to our local paper, the Helensburgh Advertiser at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- August 2019 update: Community Buy-Out Newsletter No. 8 Published 26 August 2019
- February 2019: Jon Hollingdale, Chief Executive of the Community Woodland Association, to speak at AGM 11 February 2019
- November 2018: Community Buy-Out Newsletter No 5 published 9 November 2018
- April 2018: Spring Newsletter published 3 April 2018
- December 2017: Council’s Area Committee welcomes HCWG’s proposals for land at Cumberland Avenue 3 January 2018
- December 2017: HCWG offers new future for land at Cumberland Avenue 18 December 2017
- November 2017: Annual General Meeting 23 October 2017
- May 2017: Successful consultation event on future of Cumberland Avenue land 29 May 2017