Apol­ogy as ob­jec­tion is missed out

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Johnathon Men­zies

A se­nior coun­cil of­fi­cer has apol­o­gised af­ter a po­ten­tially key ob­jec­tion to a con­tro­ver­sial plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion was not in­cluded in a cru­cial re­port.

Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil’s newly re-named plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment man­age­ment com­mit­tee has been rec­om­mended to ap­prove the erec­tion of 71 houses and as­so­ci­ated works at Black­thorn Place in Blair­gowrie when mem­bers meet on Wed­nes­day this week.

As of Tues­day af­ter­noon this week, Ste­wart Milne Homes’ bid had at­tracted 103 pub­lic com­ments – with 99 listed as ob­jec­tions on­line, along­side a sin­gle let­ter of sup­port and two neu­tral doc­u­ments.

There was a sense of sur­prise at the most re­cent meet­ing of Blair­gowrie and Rat­tray Com­mu­nity Coun­cil – held on Thurs­day evening last week in the Adult Re­source Cen­tre in Jessie Street – when those gath­ered were told that the statu­tory group’s most

re­cent sub­mis­sion in re­la­tion to the mooted de­vel­op­ment had not been classed as an of­fi­cial ob­jec­tion.

Com­mu­nity coun­cil­lor Gor­don Darge stated more than once dur­ing the dis­cus­sion that he specif­i­cally sub­mit­ted BRCC’s lat­est let­ter re­lat­ing to Black­thorn Place with a view to it be­ing classed as an of­fi­cial ob­jec­tion.

Fol­low­ing the meet­ing fel­low com­mu­nity coun­cil­lor, Stu­art Ni­chol, wrote to the lo­cal author­ity in a bid to clar­ify the sit­u­a­tion.

In his re­sponse, seen by the Blairie, Nick Brian – PKC’s in­terim head of plan­ning – states that two com­ments were re­ceived from BRCC on Black­thorn Place, the lat­ter of which was sent in by Mr Darge on June 19.

Mr Brian con­tin­ued: “I ac­knowl­edge that the re­port should re­fer to an ob­jec­tion from the CC [com­mu­nity coun­cil] on the back of this se­cond rep­re­sen­ta­tion from the CC let­ter. How­ever, the sum­mary within the re­port iden­ti­fies the con­cerns of the CC in all re­spects from both let­ters. It was checked on the CC web­site to ver­ify that both let­ters were sub­mit­ted by bona fide mem­bers of the CC be­fore in­clu­sion within the re­port sum­mary.

“There is there­fore a mis­take in the re­port and for this I fully apol­o­gise and it is clear that the word­ing of the re­port ought to have been com­pleted with ref­er­ence to the ob­jec­tion.

“I can as­sure you that this is a mis­take and there is no ques­tion of there be­ing any at­tempt to mis­lead any­body.”

Mr Brian went on: “How­ever, to ad­dress this, I have now ver­bally up­dated the con­venors of the P&DMC [plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment man­age­ment com­mit­tee] and I would pro­pose that a ver­bal up­date be made to the full P&DMC on Wed­nes­day ...”

Mr Brian con­cluded: “I apol­o­gise for this over­sight but can stress that of­fi­cers did not seek to mis­rep­re­sent the po­si­tion of the CC in any way.

“The as­sess­ment in the re­port took ac­count of their com­ments and those of all ob­jec­tors in full in form­ing the rec­om­men­da­tion.

“I am sat­is­fied that full ac­count was taken in this re­spect. I be­lieve that the mea­sures out­lined above will sat­is­fac­to­rily re­solve this mat­ter, but trust that this clar­i­fies the po­si­tion for you.”

Ste­wart Milne claims the pro­posal will con­trib­ute to­wards ad­dress­ing the recog­nised sig­nif­i­cant de­mand for af­ford­able hous­ing in Blair­gowrie.

How­ever, neigh­bour­ing res­i­dents have hit out at the plan, say­ing it in­cludes too many houses for the size of the site.

It is pro­posed the de­vel­op­ment would be com­prised of a mix of shared equity prop­er­ties avail­able to pur­chase, mid-mar­ket rental prop­er­ties and so­cial hous­ing – with the rented ones man­aged by the coun­cil and a hous­ing as­so­ci­a­tion.

De­bate Black­thorn Place

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