Barnardo’s Scotland given green light for Stirling Gap Homes development

Children’s charity Barnardo’s Scotland has been granted planning permission for new homes for young people in Stirling.

Barnardo’s Scotland given green light for Stirling Gap Homes development

Image courtesy of O'DonnellBrown Architects

Stirling Council’s planning panel last week unanimously approved an application for four flats and a two-storey house on land behind Braehead House at 14 Calton Crescent, off Shirra’s Brae Road.

Designed by O’DonnellBrown Architects, the plans form part of the wider latest Gap Homes initiative by the charity, offering bespoke supported living accommodation for young care leavers.

Barnardo’s is working in partnership with local authorities, district councils and industry partners to build small homes that are easy to equip, maintain and manage, comfortable and safe and offered to young people for up to two years with consistent practical and emotional support tailored to individual needs.

Located to the south of an existing Barnardo’s office at Shirra’s Brae Road, the development will comprise one staff house and four one-bed homes for young people, each with their own front door with access to upper flats provided via an external stair.

Braehead and Broomridge Community Council did not object but had concerns that the development had the potential to impact on residents and the wider community relating to the use of the existing Barnardo’s building during the pandemic, as well as parking and pedestrian access.

In their report to the panel, council planners said: “Several letters of objection raised concern regarding the occupants of the proposed units. It is worth noting that the behaviour of users/ occupants, including noise and anti-social behaviour, is not a material planning consideration.

“Individual behaviours of people cannot be controlled through the planning system.

“Construction works are also not material planning considerations. Future plans not subject of this application are not relevant to the assessment and determination of this proposal.”

Objectors also felt there was insufficient parking which could potentially increase on-street parking for visitors on Shirra’s Brae Road, leading to traffic and road safety concerns at the nearby primary school.

However, council planners said: “Following discussions with Transporation, the parking arrangement has been amended to provide three spaces to the front at Shirra’s Brae Road to serve the proposed residential block, and retain the three spaces to the rear within the site off Calton Crescent to serve the existing Barnardo’s building. This allows for the five spaces on Calton Crescent to be used by the public.

“While the proposal would result in the loss of five spaces within the site, the service considers there is sufficient parking due to the reduced demand for the office in light of Covid-19 work from home implications. The three spaces provided off Shirra’s Brae for the new accommodation is also considered to be a suitable provision given the anticipated demand that will be generated, as it is unlikely tenants will have cars, and that adequate visibility can be achieved at this site.

“In terms of loss of privacy, windows on the east elevation have been removed to avoid any overlooking in this direction and only one ground floor window is proposed on the west elevation where there is adequate screening provided by neighbouring fences and the neighbouring property is separated by the footpath.”

Planning panel chair Councillor Alasdair Macpherson said: “This development looks good and ticks all the boxes in terms of cared for young people.”

Gap Homes provide:

  • High quality, affordable, additional housing for care experienced young people
  • Access to new locations in established communities
  • Significant expertise in working with vulnerable young people
  • Support that reduces the likelihood of further housing-related issues
  • Flexible housing options, adaptable to address a broad range of needs, e.g. mother and baby; disability.

O’DonnellBrown won a competition in 2020 to design the purpose-built accommodation that addresses the needs of young people.

Last year, Glasgow City Council agreed to sell a site at Shiskine Drive in the city’s Maryhill to Barnardo’s for £1 for its pilot Gap Homes project.

The accommodation to be developed there will feature five one-storey homes, of which four will be one-bedroomed and one larger home will be staffed full-time with one staff member on waking night-shift and another sleeping over.

A similar project is also in the pipeline for Fife.

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