Big changes for West Park plans
Calls for a second public consultation
Blairgowrie and Rattray Community Council has called for a second public consultation on the controversial West Park development in the town after draft plans for the massive development have changed considerably.
And proposals for the site on the A93 approach road to Blairgowrie have been described as “just a big car park” by concerned members of the public.
The application for planning permission in principle for the 25 hectare site was submitted in May - some two years after the developers were advised by planners to re-think their plans for the town - and a number of weeks after a public consultation was held in Blairgowrie Town Hall in March this year.
The latest planning submission was then put on hold for several months as the developers had failed to submit an environmental impact assessment report as part of their application.
Around 80 objections to the proposals have already been received.
And now, the draft plans - which the Blairie understands Edinburgh-based developers the Westpark Partnership were keen to see go before Perth and Kinross Council’s planning and development management committee in early January - have changed so much since the public consultation almost a year ago that local residents have said they bear “absolutely no resemblance” to those initially consulted on.
Speaking at the meeting, community councillor Gordon Darge explained: “This is a major development on the west side of Blairgowrie, running from Newton Castle to the cemetery, and incorporates various phases, the first phase of which is the commercial development of what is in effect an out-of-town retail park.
“One concern about this application is whether it really appropriate to have a retail outlet of this type when the High Street in the town is struggling.
“Another concern about the way the development is phased is that in the past developers have received planning permission and have carried out the commercial development part of an application but then the housing element has changed in the future.
“I also have concerns about the discrepanc y in the 3D visualisations provided at the public consultation in March and those submitted with the
“I would like to think the council’s planners would put the things that benefit the town first.”
He added: “I would also like to see the developers come back to Blairgowrie and hold another consultation on the revised proposals which have been con side rabley changed.”
One local resident at the meeting commented: “The draft plans bear absolutely no resemblance to what the developers consulted on earlier in the year.
“This application refers to a family restaurant, a fast food outlet, it’s basically just a big car park.
“I don’t see an out-of-town retail park having any benefit to the town at all, it’s not what we need.”
The proposal of application notice outlining the longterm scheme for the area has been drawn-up by Edinburgh-based firm Yeoman McAlister Architects on behalf of West park Partnership LLP.
Yeoman McAlister Architects were contacted for comment but had not responded by the time the Blairie went to press on Tuesday.
A spokesperson for Perth and Kinross Council said that the application will be reported to the planning and development committee after February.
Site Part of the area earmarked for development