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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 October 2006, 10:55 GMT 11:55 UK
Playing fields redevelopment row
Seedhill playing fields
Seedhill playing fields where developments are proposed
Renfrewshire Council has been accused of lying over plans to redevelop contaminated playing fields in Paisley.

Residents in Seedhill said they were assured housing would not be built on the community resource after they saw tests being carried out on soil.

Friends of Seedhill Playing Fields said they were told the council only planned to upgrade pitches. They then found out plans for housing had been drawn up.

The local authority denied lying and said the whole area would be developed.

Resident George Elliot was among residents who wrote to the council to ask if there was a proposed development.

He said he received a letter of assurance that only pitches would be upgraded.

"Later on, through freedom of information, we secured plans that showed they had plans drawn up for houses to be built on these pitches," he said.

Seedhill playing fields
The council has not been lying over the question of upgrading Seedhill playing fields
Councillor Mark Macmillan

Simon Hicks, from Friends of Seedhill Playing Fields, said: "Children in the area use these playing fields on a regular basis."

A council report shows dangerous levels of toxic waste and gases under the soils.

Professor Andrew Hirsthouse, a geochemist at the University of Paisley, said some of it was "potentially carcinogenic":

He added: "My concerns would be during a development of the site the release of that material would be minimised."

The council has denied misleading people and said any property developer would treat the area to prevent any risk to public safety.

'Astroturf pitch'

A council spokesman said a maximum of 20 units are planned for the area surrounding the pitches, which will part-fund upgrading.

Councillor Mark Macmillan said: "The council has not been lying over the question of upgrading Seedhill playing fields.

"To my knowledge they did say the development was going to take place.

"It is about the development of the whole area to provide a brand new astroturf pitch with floodlighting."

He added: "The council would ensure that the developer takes all necessary steps to ensure there is no contamination."


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