Politi­cians left dis­ap­pointed at PKC go-ahead

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - NEWS -

Politi­cians in Blair­gowrie and Rat­tray have ac­knowl­edged the need for af­ford­able hous­ing in the town fol­low­ing the de­ci­sion to ap­prove plans for 71 new houses in the town.

How­ever, con­cerns were raised by neigh­bour­ing res­i­dents, and the town’s community coun­cil, about the den­sity of the num­ber of houses in the de­vel­op­ment.

And Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil­lor for the Blair­gowrie and Glens ward, Caro­line Shiers, was dis­ap­pointed by the de­ci­sion to ap­prove the de­vel­op­ment de­spite th­ese con­cerns hav­ing been raised.

She said: “I spoke at the plan­ning com­mit­tee meet­ing ar­gu­ing that 71 houses at Black­thorn Place was over-de­vel­op­ment and urg­ing the com­mit­tee to sup­port a re­duc­tion in the num­ber of prop­er­ties.

“Un­for­tu­nately the vote went six votes to five in favour of the ap­pli­ca­tion.

“How­ever, the com­mit­ment to a mix of shared eq­uity prop­er­ties, mid-mar­ket rent and social hous­ing is dif­fer­ent to those we started out with and the meet­ings I have held with of­fi­cers of PKC and Ste­wart Milne have led to a com­mit­ment to some im­prove­ments to a pick-up area at the community cam­pus and ad­dress­ing an on­go­ing flood­ing is­sue.

“I have asked for an early meet­ing to be held to en­sure the lo­cal let­tings plan and neigh­bour­hood agree­ment are put in place as has been dis­cussed at var­i­ous meet­ings in­clud­ing the re­cent pub­lic meet­ing at the community cam­pus.”

Her fel­low Con­ser­va­tive coun­cil­lor for the ward, Bob Brawn, sits on the com­mit­tee and sec­onded pro­pos­als for an amend­ment to re­ject the plans on the grounds that the num­ber of houses pro­posed for the site was too high.

He said: “There is un­doubt­edly a great need for af­ford­able hous­ing in Blair­gowrie as there is all over Perthshire.

“How­ever, I am not per­suaded that this need out­weighs the con­cerns for the den­sity of hous­ing on this site.

“It is not just build­ing houses that’s im­por­tant, you have to cre­ate a good en­vi­ron­ment as well.”

And SNP coun­cil­lor for the ward, Tom McEwan, com­mented: “The plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for Black­thorn Place has been a very chal­leng­ing in­tro­duc­tion to life as a coun­cil­lor.

“I think the ward’s coun­cil­lors, the PKC of­fi­cers and the community coun­cil have played an im­por­tant role in en­sur­ing the res­i­dents in the Moy­ness area had ac­cess to plan­ners, hous­ing of­fi­cers and the de­vel­op­ers so that the plans that were ap­proved last week could be chal­lenged and amended to in­clude shared eq­uity prop­er­ties, so sorely needed by lo­cal work­ing cou­ples and fam­i­lies.

“Th­ese houses and the ones planned in Rat­tray will go a long way to meet­ing the des­per­ate need for both social hous­ing and more af­ford­able smaller houses in the ward, but will still leave over 200 ap­pli­cants on our hous­ing wait­ing list for the area.

“There are more plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions in the pipeline around Blair­gowrie and an up­dated Lo­cal De­vel­op­ment Plan (LDP2) is due for pub­li­ca­tion be­fore Christ­mas.

“It is es­sen­tial that lo­cal peo­ple en­gage with the plan­ning process to en­sure fu­ture plans are pro­gressed in an ac­cept­able man­ner and hold de­vel­op­ers and the coun­cil to the in­fra­struc­ture mod­erni­sa­tion that is needed to sup­port our res­i­dents as our vi­brant town con­tin­ues to grow.”

A spokesper­son for Blair­gowrie and Rat­tray Community Coun­cil (BRCC) said: “Whilst recog­nis­ing the need for more af­ford­able houses in Blair­gowrie it is a pity that the com­mit­tee did not heed the strength of op­po­si­tion to the den­sity and is­sues linked to that.

“When built this will make this de­vel­op­ment out of step with the sur­round­ing hous­ing.

“The community coun­cil hopes that in fu­ture PKC holds firm to its stated poli­cies re­gard­ing the sup­ply of af­ford­able hous­ing, that it be fully in­te­grated within all hous­ing de­vel­op­ments so that much bet­ter in­te­grated, mixed ten­ure de­vel­op­ments are pro­vided in the fu­ture.”

Con­cerns Coun­cil­lor Caro­line Shiers and Murdo Fraser MSP vis­ited the de­vel­op­ment site ear­lier this year

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.