Plans for 550 new Falkirk homes move forward

Falkirk_CouncilPlans to build 550 new homes in a village on the outskirts of Falkirk took a step forward this week.

Land at Banknock was earmarked four years ago by developers for the house as well as a community centre, shops and a nature conservation area but the plans have been caught up in red tape.

Falkirk Council’s planning committee agreed on Wednesday to back the latest updated report on the planning bid that should clear the way for the first bricks for up to 80 houses to be laid.

The firm behind the ambitious scheme for the site on Kilsyth Road, I&H Brown, was granted planning permission in principle in March 2012, but missed a deadline of April 30 this year to sign a legal agreement for the entire scheme.

The proposals also include extension to Bankier Primary School and the potential for additional or enhanced pre-school facilities to be developed.

Additionally, there are plans to create a new nature conservation area as part of a strategy to provide more “high quality public open space”.

The development is part of a project known as the Special Initiative for Residential-led Regeneration (SIRR) which also hopes to benefit neighbouring village Haggs.

John Angell, the council’s head of planning and transportation, said: “While it’s disappointing it has not been possible to conclude the Section 75 planning obligation within the timescale, the reasons are perhaps understandable given the complexities of the outstanding matters and the financial implications for the applicant.

“However, general agreement has now been reached, and the regeneration benefits of the development continue to be recognised as well as the desire by the relevant parties to progress matters to a conclusion as soon as possible.

“A lot of very good work has been done and potentially this is a good news story.”

The deal includes I&H Brown paying £1000 a house towards the cost of increasing the capacity at Denny High School to meet the expected demand for places that the house build will bring, investing at least £170,000 upgrading recreational facilities, over £50,000 in a paths network, £90,000 towards the cost of the Denny Eastern Access Road and upgrading the uncontrolled pedestrian crossing on Bog Road to a toucan crossing at a cost of £50,000.

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