Almond Valley decision to be challenged at Scottish Government level

Almond Valley VillageDevelopers behind proposals for a satellite village of up to 1500 homes to the north west of Perth have said they will “immediately appeal” a decision to reject the scheme.

The Pilkington Trust and Stewart Milne Group will be pursuing an appeal to the Scottish Government after Perth & Kinross Council yesterday rejected the latest proposals for Almond Valley.

Proposed on 159 hectares of land between Ruthvenfield and Huntingtower, close to the £1 billion Bertha Park project which was approved at the same meeting, the mixed use development would have comprised up to 1500 dwellings, a primary school and community facilities.

The developers had hoped to build around 73 homes a year over a 15 to 17 year-period.

Council planning officers had recommended both the Bertha Park and Almond Valley plans for approval to help Perth cope with a forecast population boom but councillors overruled them and instead only approved Bertha Park in principle.

The decision to refuse the Almond Valley plan came after concerns were raised by local objectors about the scale of the project and the loss of countryside land.

According to The Pilkington Trust and Stewart Milne Group, the Almond Valley decision was also taken the advice of Perth & Kinross Council’s own legal team, which advised the planning committee that the council had an obligation under Section 25 of the Planning Acts to approve applications that are in accordance with the Local Development Plan and in their view this application met that criteria. The legal team deemed the grounds for refusal to be insufficient for the committee to refuse the application.

For this reason The Pilkington Trust and Stewart Milne Group Ltd said they will immediately pursue an appeal to the Scottish Government against the decision.

Speaking on behalf of the Pilkington Trust, Jonathan Henson said: “We are really disappointed that the councillors have turned down the application against their own legal advice, and we really see this as a missed opportunity for Perth and Kinross to embrace the wider Scottish Government initiative to tackle the shortage of homes within Scotland. The proposed development was going to provide 25 per cent affordable housing, and it remains our view that Perth should embrace its newly found city status and provide the necessary housing infrastructure to cater for one of Scotland’s fastest growing populations.”

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