Nov 2 2011 by Douglas Dickie, Rutherglen Reformer
RESIDENTS in a Burnside community hope to combat anti-social behaviour after being told they can lock their bin store area.
People living at Stonelaw Towers claimed the path to their bin area had become a hang-out for neds and troublemakers.
Under previous planning consent for the site, the gate to the bin storage area was not to be locked or even closed at any time.
However, members of South Lanarkshire Coouncil’s planning committee have now given the go-ahead for that condition to be scrapped.
According to Rutherglen Police, there have been four incidents of anti-social behaviour at Stonelaw Towers since the start of last year, all of them relating to youths and school pupils using the lane beside the bin area as a shortcut.
The closure of the gate will stop people going through the lane. Despite objections from residents in Brownside Road and advice from the Countryside and Greenspace Officer that the route is part of a wider network of paths, councillors agreed to let the residents lock up.
Officers said the benefits of the path were far outweighed by the attraction of the bin area and path to gangs of youths.
Residents say there has been a drop in the number of incidents since the gate was recently closed.
A council officer said: “The apparent reduction in anti-social behaviour following the closure of the gate suggests this (the gate) has contributed to reduced safety levels in the area and fear of crime for some residents of Stonelaw Towers.”
There were 11 letters supporting the application, detailing incidents such as littering, urinating, abusive language, noise disturbance, dog fouling, vandalism and under-age drinking.
One resident yesterday told the Reformer: “It’s good news that the council have done this. The kids use the path as a shortcut and a hang-out. It’s not been as bad since the garage on Stonelaw Road shut but when someone else moves in there we were expecting it to be bad again. Hopefully this will keep things calm.”