PKC SORRY FOR MIX-UP
Apology as objection is missed out
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