Pupil power fails to save Killearn ‘turnip field’

BUNGALOWS for the elderly and disabled in Killearn have finally been given the green light after months of discussion.

Stirling Council is going to build three pairs of semi-detached bungalows on land – known locally as the ‘turnip field’ – north east of the telephone exchange and 22 Birch Road.

The original application was withdrawn last summer after three local youngsters submitted a petition with 37 signatures opposing the plans as they didn’t want to lose the green space next to the primary school.

They use the turnip field in ‘golden time’ and have done spring clean-ups there.

The school pupils also do a kilometre walk/run through the field during health week at the school.

Killearn Community Council had supported the original application saying it would provide much needed housing for local elderly and disabled residents while protecting the remainder of the site from further development.

The council’s housing service said it had consulted “extensively” with the community on the proposals, that the number of high-quality affordable homes for older people in the village will be modest, and that only one-third of the field would be developed, with the rest of the open space protected.

However, a new application featuring layout changes and a revised design was recently approved by Stirling Council’s planning panel, having attracted only two objections.

Stirling Council planners, who recommended the new application for approval, told the panel: “The planning view is that the site is relatively small and there would not be a material loss to a large area of open space within the parkland where the housing is proposed.

“The layout has been designed so that the open setting of the parkland would not be compromised.

“Housing services considered a number of sites in the village and discussed them with the community council.

“These included an area of ground opposite the post office on Main Street, an area of open space to the south of the primary school accessed from Graham Road and the site of the existing telephone exchange.

“None of these were considered suitable on a variety of grounds including setting, services and ownership.

“Although the planning authority, Stirling Council, has an interest in the application, notification of Scottish Ministers is not required as approval of the application is not a significant departure from the Development Plan.”