New Bridge of Earn homes approved despite flood fears

Ogilvie HomesPlans for 80 new homes on the edge of Bridge of Earn have been given the green light despite concerns the development will aggravate long-standing flooding problems.

Just days after torrential downpours caused chaos in the Perthshire town, developers have won planning consent to build the homes on grassland close to Kintillo Road where the most recent flooding took place.

But the scheme has been approved by councillors, after developers gave assurances that the project is not a flood risk and has been approved by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).

A quarter of the homes will be classed as affordable.

Applicants King Group and Ogilvie Homes have denied that the scheme will cause more flooding and said that the town expansion will bring a major boost to the local economy.

“Given recent events, flooding and drainage issues will be uppermost in people’s minds,” said company spokesman Alston Birnie. “SEPA and the council flood team have both concluded that the submitted information will not have any adverse impact on flooding or drainage capacity in the area.”

Addressing the council’s development management committee, Mr Birnie said: “The events of Tuesday were clearly a result of the existing combined sewer at Kintillo Road not coping with a flash flood.

“The question should be, is there a risk of future flooding at this site specifically and the answer is quite simply no. This site is not within the SEPA flood map area and it would take a far greater deluge than we saw on Tuesday for any potentially inundation at these houses.”

The committee heard that the developers would contribute a six-figure sum towards local education and infrastructure.

Perth City North councillor Callum Gillies has also raised concerns that sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) were being built too close to a children’s playground.

He said: “We’ll have a situation where children will be playing right next to a water hazard. What is being done to prevent a fatality here?”

Almond and Earn councillor Henry Anderson argued against the project saying he had concerns it could add to flooding problems. He said it was “excessively” beyond the local development plan and would lead to the loss of prime farming land.

But local councillor Alan Livingstone spoke out in favour.

“80 houses is going to be welcome to the housing stock, particularly the 20 affordable homes which are included as part of this development,” he said.

“There is an economic impact here which I don’t think we should be bypassing or denying.”

The committee voted eight-four in favour of the scheme.

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