The DEMOCRAT

Sons fans still to make up their minds on new Renton Road stadium

The site of the proposed Dumbarton Football Club stadium on Renton Road, Dumbarton.

The planned site for the new Dumbarton FC stadium and 200 new houses on the road between Renton and Dumbarton.

The supporters of Dumbarton Football Club are NOT behind the plan to switch the stadium to a new site at Renton Road on the banks of the River Leven.

This was made clear in a letter to the Glasgow Herald this week by the Sonstrust communications officer, Simon Barrow.

He wrote: “While the supporters’ trust at Dumbarton FC has recognised the community and commercial potential that could come from a new stadium development for the club, it is not the case as your report suggests (“Fans back Sons of Rock move”, The Herald, December 28) that we have endorsed the current planning proposal for a move.

“That will depend on a fans’ vote in the New Year. We retain a positive attitude and an open mind on the subject, but for us the key concern remains viability and sustainability.”

The letter appeared alongside one from Rose Harvie, Secretary and Planning Officer, Silverton and Overtoun Community Council, of 82 Bonhill Road, Dumbarton.

Rose, who claims she is being treated as “public enemy number one” by the Sons’ board of directors and a proportion of the fans, wrote: “The proposed move by Dumbarton Football Club has been planned for many months, and the planning application goes before West Dunbartonshire Council in the spring next year.

“I have no problem with the Sons fans wishing to expand their facilities; I fully appreciate how important football is to many people, both within the Dumbarton area, and elsewhere; I am also fully aware of being viewed as public enemy number one for opposing the proposed move to Young’s Farm, with the support of my community council.”

Mrs Harvie added: “On Boxing Day, I walked along the west bank of the River Leven, the boundary of the proposed 40-acre development site. Many other people were enjoying the peace and tranquillity of this unspoilt riverside walk.

“As we enjoyed our quiet walk, next to the greenbelt farmland, we saw many different species of birds; robins, blackbirds, blue tits, kingfisher, herons, goosanders, little grebe, mallard ducks, cormorants, gulls.

“What future for the birds, and other wildlife on the site and in the river, and the peace that pedestrians and cyclists enjoy, when the entire site is destroyed for a 4,000-seat stadium, with associated new roundabout from the A82, and extensive road layout?

“Two hundred private houses (enabling development without which the stadium cannot be built) will also be constructed on the site, resulting in yet more traffic on the surrounding roads.

“There are many other reasons to object to this proposal, not least the suggestion that primary school children from the new houses would be able to walk along an unpaved, unlit, farm track to access their nearest school!”

  • The Planning application is DC17/140 – if you want to object follow the links for planning applications on West Dunbartonshire Council’s website, or contact Rose Harvie, Secretary and Planning Officer, Silverton and Overtoun Community Council, 82 Bonhill Road, Dumbarton.

Dumbarton FC stadium from the air 1

Sons’ current stadium beneath Dumbarton Rock in Dumbarton’s East End.  Pictures by Bill Heaney

Royal history should be recognised by Council

It is now generally accepted by scholars that the “Cardross” referred to as the place of death of King Robert the Bruce, was his Manor House near the River Leven, between Dumbarton and Cardross. This stood within the boundaries of the original ecclesiastical Parish of Cardross. The original Cardross Parish Church site can still be seen in the grounds of Levengrove Park.  This, to my way of thinking, raises a possible issue in relation to the proposed siting of a new stadium for Dumbarton Football Club. Some, including Rose Harvie, have raised some environmental and wildlife issues. I am not actually objecting to the football club proposal, not knowing whether or not the site of the medieval king’s residence would actually be covered over. The part of land favoured by some scholars, notably Barrow, a meticulous historian of the period, is Pillanflatt, which is the field lying between Young’s farm and the Vale bypass road where it crosses the Renton Road.  Quite apart from the football club matter, it really is a great pity that the existing development adjacent to, or actually on the one-time King’s property, is an unsightly recycling unit. The latter is very important, of course, but that it should be there, rather than somewhere else, and that there is nothing (except maybe a mention on a Leven walk plaque?) to commemorate where such a famous Scottish King died, shows a regrettable lack of historical and heritage awareness on the part of local authorities over the years. A former Council had this brought to its attention many years ago.  Perhaps there is a case for a complete rethink about the best, sustainable use of what might reasonably be considered land of historical as well as environmental importance between Dumbarton and Renton? We need to start taking some real pride in our area.

Arthur F. Jones

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