Hopes high for start to £330m vil­lage plans

Forest­mill is main fo­cus of re­gion deal

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - craig Smith csmith@the­courier.co.uk

Hopes have been raised that plans for a new vil­lage on the out­skirts of Fife and Perthshire will fi­nally get off the ground.

Plan­ning per­mis­sion in prin­ci­ple for the £330 mil­lion de­vel­op­ment at Forest­mill was ap­proved by Clack­man­nan­shire coun­cil­lors six years ago, although a fur­ther ap­pli­ca­tion seek­ing to ex­tend the timescale of that con­sent by five years was sub­se­quently rub­ber-stamped last year.

Up­wards of 1,200 homes are en­vis­aged in the project, along with a fourstar ho­tel, leisure fa­cil­i­ties, a cham­pi­onship golf course and pri­mary school.

While fears have been ex­pressed the plans might not fully come to fruition in the cur­rent fi­nan­cial cli­mate, The Courier un­der­stands the open­ing of the Queens­ferry Cross­ing means Forest­mill is now seen as a main fo­cus of the on­go­ing Stir­ling and Clack­man­nan­shire City Re­gion Deal, which should pro­vide fi­nan­cial back­ing to un­lock large-scale hous­ing de­vel­op­ment in the area.

A re­port to Clack­man­nan­shire Coun­cil con­ceded the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing Forest­mill mean that it “would be un­likely to go ahead with­out in­ter­ven­tion” or could re­sult in a “wa­tered down” de­vel­op­ment, but stressed the vi­sion for the site is of “an ex­em­plar de­vel­op­ment which would take ad­van­tage of the site’s char­ac­ter­is­tics and lo­ca­tion”.

The vil­lage will be built by Her­mis­ton Se­cu­ri­ties, of the Muir Group, and is likely to take at least 15 years to fin­ish.

A state­ment from so­lic­i­tors act­ing for the Drys­dale fam­ily, which farms the main part of the Forest­mill site, said they were en­thused about the fu­ture of the area.

“We have farmed at Forest­mill for many years and love the area,” the state­ment said.

“We are ex­cited by the de­vel­op­ment pro­posal and the ef­fect it will have in re­gen­er­at­ing the lo­cal area.”

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