Res­i­dents hear about big plans for the area

PKC’s de­vel­op­ment plan un­der scru­tiny from com­mu­nity

Blairgowrie Advertiser - - NEWS - Clare Damodaran

There was a good turnout of res­i­dents keen to see Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil’s pro­pos­als for de­vel­op­ment of the area.

A num­ber of peo­ple at­tended a drop-in ses­sion at the An­gus Ho­tel in Blair­gowrie on Satur­day which was or­gan­ised by the lo­cal author­ity to al­low peo­ple to view the pro­posed Lo­cal De­vel­op­ment Plan 2 (LDP2) for Perth and Kin­ross, pub­lished ear­lier this month.

Hun­dreds more homes could be built on sites in Blair­gowrie if pro­posed changes to the coun­cil’s LDP go ahead un­chal­lenged.

The pro­posed LDP2, which will be used to in­form de­ci­sions on de­vel­op­ments in east Perthshire for the next five years, rec­om­mends in­creas­ing the num­ber of houses that can be built on a num­ber of sites al­ready iden­ti­fied as suit­able for large hous­ing de­vel­op­ments.

PKC plan­ners have also rec­om­mended a num­ber of new sites be added to the next LDP, in­clud­ing one de­scribed as the “Blair­gowrie East­ern Ex­pan­sion” – land be­hind Bruce­field Road in the town - which the doc­u­ment says could end up ac­com­mo­dat­ing any­where be­tween 594 and 928 new homes in the fu­ture.

Other new sites be­ing rec­om­mended for de­vel­op­ment in­clude West­fields of Rat­tray and An­n­field Road in Alyth.

The lo­cal author­ity is cur­rently hold­ing a con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod, which runs un­til Fe­bru­ary 2, and the drop-in ses­sion on Satur­day was part of that.

How­ever, there were some com­plaints that feed­back forms ran out at the ses­sion and that the maps of the area were too small for the num­ber of peo­ple who were try­ing to look at them.

There were also com­plaints about what is seen as the overde­vel­op­ment of the town and the lack of as­so­ci­ated in­fra­struc­ture.

One mem­ber of the pub­lic said: “I think that what they are do­ing to Blair is un­ac­cept­able.

“All this new de­vel­op­ment will just turn Blair into a com­muter town and it will lose its soul.

“Where is all the new in­fra­struc­ture that will be needed for all the new peo­ple who are go­ing to move here go­ing to go?

“There’s no pro­vi­sion for ad­di­tional med­i­cal ser­vices for ex­am­ple.”

Ian Richards is vice-chair of Blair­gowrie and Rat­tray Com­mu­nity Coun­cil.

He said: “There is clearly much pub­lic in­ter­est in these pro­pos­als and PKC pro­vided a good num­ber of of­fi­cers to an­swer ques­tions on the plan, many of whom seemed will­ing to en­ter into dis­cus­sions about var­i­ous aspects of it, of­fer­ing open and in­for­ma­tive an­swers.

“The coun­cil of­fi­cers were also pro-ac­tive in en­cour­ag­ing mem­bers of the pub­lic to give feed­back and en­cour­aged com­ments about matters of lo­cal in­ter­est that were not specif­i­cally part of the plan, such as cy­cle routes and lo­cal con­nec­tions in gen­eral.

“The com­mu­nity coun­cil would urge any­one who was not able to at­tend or who may have unan­swered ques­tions or gen­eral com­ments, to make full use of the on­line feed­back fa­cil­i­ties be­fore the con­sul­ta­tion closes at the start of Fe­bru­ary.”

Lo­cal coun­cil­lor for the Blair­gowrie and Glens ward, Car­o­line Shiers, said: “I am de­lighted to hear that there was a healthy turnout to the event and look forward to meet­ing with of­fi­cers to dis­cuss the feed­back.

“There is lots of time through De­cem­ber and Jan­uary for lo­cal res­i­dents and busi­nesses to have their say.

“I have a num­ber of con­cerns with the pro­posed east­ern area ex­pan­sion which I have al­ready dis­cussed with of­fi­cers and whilst I un­der­stand the re­quire­ment on the coun­cil to make ex­pan­sion land avail­able, it is im­por­tant that this is car­ried out in as sen­si­tive a man­ner as pos­si­ble.

“It is clear that hous­ing de­mand in Blair­gowrie and east­ern Perthshire over the life of the cur­rent and next LDP is go­ing to mean an in­flux of new res­i­dents and that will put pres­sure on ser­vices from park­ing to health and ed­u­ca­tion.

“It will there­fore be cru­cial that we en­sure these needs are all met and that in­vest­ment is avail­able in pub­lic ser­vices.

“The cur­rent pres­sures on lo­cal govern­ment fi­nances mean this is be­com­ing more dif­fi­cult and it will be in­creas­ingly im­por­tant that the Scot­tish Govern­ment, NHS and other part­ners work with us to de­liver the fa­cil­i­ties we will re­quire for a grow­ing and age­ing pop­u­la­tion.”

Coun­cil­lor Tom McE­wan added: “As a ma­jor town in Perth and Kin­ross it is to be ex­pected that ad­di­tional growth ar­eas for de­vel­op­ment over the next 20 years in this area would be iden­ti­fied.

“I am glad to see an­other mixed use site iden­ti­fied so that jobs and ser­vices can be ex­panded in the town pre­vent­ing any move­ment to­wards Blair­gowrie be­com­ing a dor­mi­tory town.”

A spokesper­son for the coun­cil said: “The event was well-at­tended and al­lowed mem­bers of the pub­lic to dis­cuss the pro­posed plan and for of­fi­cers to an­swer any ques­tions.

“A va­ri­ety of is­sues was dis­cussed, with new emerg­ing pro­pos­als for de­vel­op­ment be­ing of great­est in­ter­est.”

There will be a fur­ther drop-in ses­sion in Alyth in the com­mu­nity wing at the town’s pri­mary school on Wed­nes­day, Jan­uary 17 from 2pm to 7.30pm.

Full de­tails of the con­sul­ta­tion, in­clud­ing fur­ther planned in­for­ma­tion events and de­tails on how to com­ment on­line, are avail­able at­posedLDP2.

Your say Com­mu­nity coun­cil­lor Ian Richards

Con­cerns Coun­cil­lor Car­o­line Shiers

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