A WOMAN in the midst of a tug of war with West Dunbartonshire Council over her land has claimed she's been offered an alternative site which the local authority doesn't yet own.

Horse owner Susan Dick also put into question the possibility that the land she's been offered could be contaminated.

Susan has faced uncertainty over her 5.5 acres of land across the A82 from the Milton Inn for years – and was even sent a compulsory purchase letter in December in error.

The local authority want the land as part of their ambitious City Region deal and even sent Susan a compulsory purchase letter in December in error.

However, Ms Dick got the chance to put the local authority under scrutiny at last Wednesday's full council meeting.

The landowner, from Dalmuir, questioned the council and asked them if they had "exhausted every possible other route" which would avoid devastating a chunk of greenbelt land which she owns.

Ms Dick’s land lies in an area near the former Exxon site – where the council want to transform as part of the multi-million pound Glasgow City Region Deal.

The deal would see the council contribute around £3.9m to the overall £28m regeneration project.

The local authority wants to transform the site near Bowling with a major industrial and commercial development, and create a road to provide an alternative route in and out of West Dunbartonshire- through Susan's land.

It is anticipated that when complete the regeneration of the site will provide almost 700 new jobs with 44,200m2 of occupied industrial and commercial floorspace.

But it means using Ms Dick’s land in their proposals.

At the meeting Ms Dick, who does have significant support from locals and, it's understood, from 'New Tricks' actors James Bolam and Susan Jameson, outlined her case and reiterated her desire not to sell, saying that she intends to live there in future and run the land as a "more formal venue" for those with special needs or mental health issues.

She added: "A lifetime’s work has been poured into this field and it is needed by myself and my horses."

The alternative site she has been offered is still under ownership of Exxon but will come into WDC 's hands when the transfer of the land is complete.

Convener of and spokesperson for Infrastructure, Regeneration & Economic Development Iain McLaren confirmed that the land has been examined by external independent assessors and verified as "uncontaminated."

At the meeting Cllr McLaren said: "I am satisfied that alternatives for other routes have been properly examined and exhausted.

"The proposed junction design and Road route has been prepared and verified by independent experts, and is the only deliverable option that complies with the statutory requirements of Transport Scotland, SEPA, and Network Rail.

"The fact that this was likely to impact on other landowners was noted in a report to 26 April Council.

"However, our consultants are considering the feedback from the public consultation in respect of which areas of land will be required for the project.

"I would also like to point out that section 6.12 of the report makes reference to land that is part of the Exxon site, and has been verified as uncontaminated by external independent assessors.

"We believe that this may be an enhanced alternative to Mrs Dick’s current field, and I’d be happy to explore this possibility with her."

After the meeting, though, Ms Dick said: "This land is not in council's ownership, it may or may not be contaminated land and I have never been spoken to about it before it was read by myself on the public meeting.

"The suitability of this land cannot be decided by the council and to date I do not know where it is, or indeed if it is even safe for people- let alone horses to be near."

She added: "We are nearing the 3rd anniversary of my pony's death.

"The pony that is buried on the land where the council plan to put their roads.

"Lady passed away on 18th September 2014 and I am doing as much as I can to ensure her grave is not desecrated even though despite knowing where she was buried the council have aimed their roads right at her."

Leven ward Cllr Jim Bollan added: "I think Ms Dick should count to 10 before taking any patch of land from Exxon."