Developers ‘disappointed’ after councillors reject plans for 225 new homes in Paisley

Developers 'disappointed' after councillors reject plans for 225 new homes in Paisley

The site location at Ferguslie Park

Another developer has reacted with disappointment at the Renfrewshire Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for housing projects in Paisley.

A total of 225 homes were rejected across two developments by councillors on the local authority’s Planning and Climate Change Policy Board yesterday.

The committee went with a recommendation by planning officers to refuse planning permission for 180 new homes at Ferguslie Park in Paisley.

The recommendation came despite Renfrewshire Council granting planning permission in principle in 2019 and allocating the site for the development of homes in the local development plan.

Outlining the reason for the decision, a report by planners stated: “that the proposed development will result in an unacceptable impact on educational infrastructure due to the current capacity of St Andrew’s Academy and St Fergus Primary School both exceeding 85% capacity”.

It added: “The proposed development is therefore considered to be contrary to Policy 18 of the Fourth National Planning Framework and Policy I8 of the Renfrewshire Local Development Plan as no mitigation has been provided for this impact.”

The report also said that “the development does not provide suitable integration and connectivity with the surrounding area given its reliance on a single access point from Ferguslie Park Avenue to the south and is therefore considered contrary to Policy 14 of the Fourth National Planning Framework and Policy P1 and Policy I1 of the Renfrewshire Local Development Plan”.

AS Homes has said it was “staggered” by the decision.

Speaking ahead of the councillors’ vote, Paul Kelly, managing director at AS Homes, said: “We are a local, family-run housebuilder who is committed to delivering for local communities in Ferguslie Park and the wider Paisley area. We are staggered that Renfrewshire Council is recommending refusal for 180 homes at a period of severe housing shortage, especially in an area like Ferguslie Park which could significantly benefit from this massive investment.

“This development is located on a site already zoned for housing and would support the regeneration of Ferguslie Park. Along with blocking the creation of new homes for families, this decision would prevent £40m of investment into Ferguslie Park, which in turn supports job creation and brings significant social and economic benefits to the community.”

Paul Kelly added: “The planning process for this development has been dragged out by Renfrewshire Council, with the time taken to reach a decision now over 18 months. This is unacceptable given the housing emergency in this area. We would have hoped for more positive engagement with Renfrewshire Council on how we can come together to build much needed new homes, in turn supporting the redevelopment of communities like Ferguslie Park.”

On the refusal recommendation, Liz Hamilton, senior land and planning manager at AS Homes, said: “The planning officers cite connectivity and education as the reasons for refusal, however both of these matters were approved and deemed acceptable by the council within the overarching planning permission in principle approval. We therefore are firmly of the view that the council has no legal or planning basis to refuse the application for these reasons.”

Springfield Partnerships managing director Tom Leggeat has also expressed his disappointment after its proposal for new affordable housing in Paisley was also rejected.

The housebuilder had proposed the erection of a residential development comprising 45 flats with associated access, parking, and landscaping on a site between Abbeyfield House and Ivy Gardens on Station Road.

The application had been recommended for refusal at yesterday’s committee after planners stated: “The proposed development, by virtue of its height, scale and design, would have an intrusive and over-dominant impact on the character of the existing built environment and its residential amenity and would not make a positive contribution to Place. It is therefore contrary to Policy 14 of National Planning Framework 4, Policy P1 of the adopted Renfrewshire Local Development Plan, the associated New Development  supplementary Guidance, and Renfrewshire Council’s Residential Design Guide.”

This recommendation was endorsed by councillors who voted to reject the application.

Mr Leggeat said: “Whilst this is the outcome we were anticipating following the recommendation for refusal for 45 much needed affordable housing in Paisley, we are thoroughly disappointed and confused that our proposal has been refused by Renfrewshire Council.

“Since submitting our designs over 18 months ago, we have worked closely with planning officers and have been previously encouraged by the positive feedback received.

“These 45 affordable apartments within a dementia-friendly living complex would provide accessible living to local people who need it the most and in an area where all the local infrastructure needed to support them already exists.

“It is no secret that every Scottish area needs more homes and that we are facing a national crisis. We should be asking serious questions about local authorities who block applications for good quality and energy efficient homes, as opposed to working with developers to deliver them. We fully intend to appeal this decision.”

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