Developers lose appeal against refusal of 265 homes in Cambusbarron

Barratt Homes West Scotland has lost its appeal against Stirling Council’s refusal for 265 new homes to be built in Cambusbarron.

Councillors rejected plans for the Seven Sisters Field development off Polmaise Road in December, which had attracted a 230 signature petition from locals.

Campaigners had 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 lodged an appeal with the Scottish Government’s planning appeals division (DPEA) earlier this year but this has now been rejected, mainly on grounds of the density of the housing proposed.

In her decision, DPEA appeals reporter Karen Black said: “I accept that through the imposition of conditions, the retention of some existing trees and provision of further maintenance details could be achieved, thereby meeting the requirements of local development plan policies related to the impact of development on trees.

“However, I find that the density of the proposed development has an excessively dense and urban character, particularly in the context of the linear and relatively narrow form of the site in the southern and eastern part of the site. Furthermore, the densities as proposed in those areas do not reflect the rural nature and character of adjacent development.

“I therefore conclude that the proposed development does not accord overall with the relevant provisions of the development plan and that there are no material considerations which would still justify approving the matters specified in conditions of the planning permission. I have considered all the other matters raised, but there are none which would lead me to alter my conclusions.”

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.

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.

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