Muir Homes loses government appeal over Forfar development bid

Muir Homes loses government appeal over Forfar development bid

An appeal against Angus Council’s decision to refuse plans for 159 new homes in Forfar has been rejected by the Scottish Government.

Muir Homes submitted a revised proposal for a new development south of Glamis Road and to the west of Westfield Loan

Including 39 flats and houses for affordable rent, a new site layout and supporting documents to address previous comments from Angus Council, the updated plans included a variety of house types, a new noise mitigation solution involving homes along the Glamis Road frontage, and new car parking provision.

However, the government reporter has described the development as “poorly designed” and found that it did not set an “exemplar” precedent for the next phase of the town’s expansion westwards.

In 2022, a 136-house bid was pulled at the 11th hour after Angus planners recommended refusal.

Muir submitted the revised 159-house application in January last year.

It included acoustically designed homes closest to the town’s textile firm Don & Low, which sits directly opposite.

But, last April, Angus councillors refused the bid due to “significant design failings”.

The planning committee convener said the proposed location of a children’s play area was “almost dangerous”.

Fife-based Muir appealed the outcome saying it had been “disappointed and astonished” by the decision.

Scottish Government appeal reporter Andrew Sikes has now said the council got it right.

“In summary, overall I consider the proposed development to be poorly designed,” he wrote.

“As such, it fails to fully satisfy the six qualities of a successful place as set out in NPF4 (national planning framework).

“In particular, the scale of development, including its density and orientation of some buildings, would not deliver a place of distinction as sought by national and local

“As a first phase of development, it is particularly important the site adheres to the council’s design and placemaking guidance to provide an exemplar for subsequent phases.”

Muir Homes said it will engage with the council to bring forward new plans.

Nicola McCowan Hill, land and planning manager, said: “It is incredibly disappointing to see our revised plans rejected. We put in a significant amount of effort and worked closely with a number of experts and professional consultants to provide solutions to the various physical and technical constraints this site presents.

“However, we accept that the local authority requires a different approach. We are now seeking to engage directly with them to bring forward new plans for housing in Forfar which is so badly needed.

“Muir Homes is committed to working with the local authority and the community to deliver housing on this site in the near future. We look forward to restarting engagement and consulting on a new proposal.”

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