Developers appeal against refusal of homes in Cambusbarron
Barratt Homes West Scotland has lodged an appeal against Stirling Council’s refusal for 265 new homes to be built in Cambusbarron.
Councillors on the planning panel rejected plans for the Seven Sisters Field development off Polmaise Road in December, which had attracted a 230 signature petition from locals.
Campaigners argued that the community’s infrastructure, including the school, roads and health services, wouldn’t be able to cope with a population increase even with significant investment.
The developers have now lodged an appeal with the Scottish Government’s planning appeals division (DPEA) in an attempt to overturn the decision by the council.
Stirling Council originally refused permission in 2014 to Hallam for a 170 home housing estate on the field.
A subsequent appeal was turned down by the DPEA, however, its rejection was based almost solely on lack of space at the village primary school.
Hallam subsequently promised £3.5 million for an extension to the school and the appeals reporter gave the council and the developer more time to agree a planning obligation.
When that failed to materialise Hallam submitted a draft planning obligation to the reporter and planning permission in principle was eventually conditionally approved in September last year.
After that, Barratt became involved and submitted an application for approval of matters specified in conditions (MSC) of that permission to build 265 homes and associated infrastructure, the Stirling Observer reports.
In December, Barratt said that 40% of the site would be allocated as open space and there would be a range of one to four-bedroom homes suitable“for a large variety of budgets and circumstances”, with demand already strong for the location.
The developers said they would fund the creation of an extra classroom at the school and promised that affordable homes would also be built, to be owned and managed by Forth Housing Association.
However, community representatives said there had been a 40% increase in housing stock in Cambusbarron over 20 years which would rise to 65% if the development was approved.
Council planners had said the development was “an example of good design” and considered 265 homes to meet guidelines after taking factors such as layout and the mix of housing type and size into account.
However, councillors questioned whether the original appeals reporter had perceived 265 homes would be proposed when they had deemed “indicative capacity” to be 170 homes, and refused the application on the grounds of over-density and over-development.
In appeal documents lodged last week with the DPEA, however, Barratt said they were “surprised and disappointed” by the panel’s conclusion, describing the decision to refuse as unreasonable and without proper basis.
They added: “Notably there are no planning policies referenced in this refusal reason, and it contradicts the planning officer’s conclusions without any explanation. We worked closely with planning officers to meet all of their requirements and had made various amendments to the plans during the processing of the application to ensure it was compliant with the conditions of the PPP consent and relevant planning policies.
“The council did not have proper regard to the planning history of the appeal site and incorrectly focused on the apparent increase from an indicative capacity of 170 units to 265 units. In fact, the capacity has only increased from an indicative capacity of 250 to 265 units as it should be noted that the council did not comment on the suggested figure of 250 units in the examination of the Local Development Plan, and the appeals reporter noted that the specific number of houses at the appeal site would be determined through an MSC application.”