We received a letter yesterday from Historic Scotland yesterday. This was the government’s decision on the house plans. It was bad news – they granted the planning application as recommended by North Lanarkshire Council.
This was really not surprising as the government had to judge purely on the application merits itself and not on whether it was something the public wanted or something crazy like…oh we don’t know…whether the plan is financially viable…so it has passed the final stage.
So once again we’re at a ‘well you need to give up stage’ right? eh…nope. This is now the house on it’s 4th owner since NLC sold it…and…well none have been successful. It was successful as a public building from 1955 to 1996 but in private hands it’s been pretty poor so far.
We’ve all worked really hard so far…really hard. We’ve had nearly 3000 people join as fans, 1900 signatures on a petition, countless newspaper headlines, huge amounts of front pages, celebrity fans, nearly 170 objections to planning, 120 people attending our flashmob, the backing of our MP, all our MSP’s and cross party support from councillors because you guys wrote to them and made it clear this was something important to us! So stopping now when the future is by no means finished would be crazy. We need to make sure the large amount of conditions WE HAD ADDED to the application are adhered to. We need to make sure that the house is preserved for future generations.
Let’s look elsewhere in the town for a small example – Ardenlea house in the village – this used to be the old Library and housed a museum at one point also before it was sold by the council. This house has been granted TWO sets of 5 year planning permissions since it was bought over and is lying derelict as we speak. Planning permission means nothing if the work is not followed through to the end. The owner of Cumbernauld House has 3 years to start his work and 5 years to completely finish it – do we want to be starting from scratch in 5 years time? Or do we want to use that time to build up knowledge, expertise and most importantly a track record?
That last bit was a bit of a teaser of something that the House Trust has plans around. Remember the House trust was set up for the house but is also for the community and educational betterment of Cumbernauld. Watch this space for more guys.