Strathblane greenbelt plans thrown out

DEVELOPERS who wanted to build on greenbelt land near Strathblane have been given a knock-back.

Stirling Council’s planning panel unanimously rejected plans by Scotia House Ltd for three houses - submitted as separate applications - on land near Balauchan Lodge, Mugdcok Road.

Officials said the applications were a test case for the council’s greenbelt and countryside policies in the future.

Previous applications have been submitted for this site including a request to build one house during the 1990’s.

A second application for four houses which was withdrawn in 2002 and in 2009 permission for five new houses with garages was also refused.

The decision was appealed by the applicant and subsequently refused by the Scottish Government appeals reporter.

A total of 24 objections were submitted to each application with concerns raised about traffic, the scale of the houses, adverse impact on the greenbelt and worries that it could set a dangerous precedent.

Council planners told the panel: “The application recent appeal decision forms an important material condiseration in the assessment of the current application.

“The applicant’s supporting statement focuses largely on the comments of the appeal reporter in order to justify the current development proposal.

“The applicant has interpreted the comments of the reporter as being supportive to development occurring on the proposed site unless, as stated by the applicant, ‘it causes harm to the public interest’.

“It is considered that the current proposal continues to run counter to the objectives of the greenbelt.

“The concerns expressed by the reporter, in relation to the detailed impact, remain outstanding with regard to the current development scheme.

“Allowing this type of development without reasonable justification in planning policy terms would make it very difficult for the council to refuse similar applications in future.

“If permitted, such a development could result in the kind of sprawl and urbanisation of the greenbelt that the council’s policies are seeking to control.”