Celebrations, however, have been muted. The devil could be in the detail of the report produced by the Scottish Government Reporters Unit.
Various developers had appealed that Stirling Council’s Local Development Plan (LDP) did not identify sufficient development sites to satisfy longer-term housing needs. In the verdict, issued by the Reporter on March 7, this point was partially accepted, the judgment being that 300 more houses should be included in the first five years of the LDP period.
This opened the possibility that Seven Sisters’ Field could help solve the council-wide problem.
Some of the early points in the verdict made disturbing reading for opponents of the proposed housing scheme. The Reporter did NOT consider that the development would result in the physical coalescence of Cambusbarron with the wider Stirling urban area to the east.
The Reporter was also satisfied that there are NO issues with regard to environmental, transportation, utility, habitat and archaeological matters that would prevent development “subject to further detailed assessments.”
According to the report, the main infrastructure constraint is the ability of local schools to accommodate additional pupils.
“Further detailed design, costing, catchment and operational assessments would be required to arrive at a definitive position, “stated the report. “Only then could it be established if there was a viable solution to cater for new housing of the scale proposed.”
In the report summary, the Reporter was unable to support the allocation of the St Ninians Road site for 220 new homes because “I cannot be confident that these issues could be resolved” within the first five years of the LDP.
As a result, for now, the proposals by Hallam as the agents of the developers have been stopped in their tracks. It remains to be seen, however, whether they will now develop a longer-term strategy for this site, and perhaps submit a planning application to Stirling Council, their confidence enhanced by the Reporter’s dismissal of many of the main arguments put forward by the CC and the many other individual opponents of this proposed development.
See the full report online via the Local Development Plan page of the Stirling Council website - View PDF of Report.