RE: PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT AT MYRESIDE, ERROL
I am writing to you as Chairman of the Braes of the Carse Conservation Group (BCCG). As you may be aware BCCG was set up in late 2009 to try to conserve the unique beauty, character and historical environment of the Braes of the Carse area and the small communities within it.
I have been approached by concerned residents in the Pitroddie/Kilspindie area of the Braes of the Carse of Gowrie regarding the above proposed development that is to be considered by the Development Control Committee on 17th March 2010. A similar application for this site was previously rejected by the Committee for reasons that the local residents feel are still applicable. BCCG has been asked to lend its support to the call for continued refusal and as a Group we are pleased to do so.
BCCG already has a membership of over …. and is still growing. It comprises local residents who, whilst generally supportive of appropriate small scale development within their communities, are concerned that developers may be allowed by PKC to cause irreversible harm to the hamlets by allowing development inappropriate in terms of scale, density, location and style We understand that there has been unprecedented local opposition to this particular application, and having looked at the site and the proposals we can fully understand and support the reasons for the opposition.
The application is contrary to many of the PKC policies outlined in the Housing in the Countryside Policy 2009 document, a policy document which we fully support.
1. The proposed site is not a redundant building, but is still in use for agricultural purposes. The majority of the site is a huge modern farm shed, not a traditional vernacular steading that could be converted into attractive housing.
2. The proposed development will not meet the criteria set out by the PKC for siting, landscape fit etc as it sits within an intensive arable farm and the proposed number of houses do not allow for any landscaping. There are no existing landscape features or boundaries to help screen the new development. It will “stick out like a sore thumb” and be clearly visible from all directions given the flat nature of the surrounding area. The scale of the development and density of the proposed housing is out of character with all of the local housing and as such will detract from the landscape character of the area.
3. There are no services on or near the site. For example, there are no footpaths, street-lighting, shops or amenities.
4. There will be a significant impact on the surrounding farm business, both from the impact of the additional run-off, foul water and sewage, and from the imposition of a new large population in the middle of the farm.
5. It is a well known area for flooding and drainage problems and the distance from existing services means that it will not be possible to connect the houses to mains sewage. Local residents are concerned that granting permission for this development may create a potentially dangerous situation regarding the risks associated with the houses flooding, the sewage treatment works on site spilling out onto the new houses, nearby houses and adjacent land and watercourses. Scottish Government directives state that sites which flood should not utilized for housing development. The developers have now finally managed to obtain a report that has allowed SEPA to withdraw their original objection to the development. Concerns regarding drainage and flooding however remain. There was a report in the Dundee Courier in November 2009 indicating that “Perth and Kinross Council has pledged to get tough with housing developers to head off future problems with flooding” after concerns were raised by elected members that developments had been allowed to go ahead in what had turned out to be flood risk areas. The convener of the Council’s Environment Committee, Alan Grant, was quoted as being of the view that “it was time to stand up to the developers and for the Council to stick to its guns, even if its stance is not backed by strong evidence.” We agree entirely with this view.
The BCCG has been set up to support local residents in their quest to ensure that there is appropriate, sustainable development within the Braes of the Carse and we believe that this application is neither ‘appropriate’ nor ‘sustainable’. As previously stated, the Group supports the Housing in the Countryside 2009 Policy , and recognises that it has been drawn up to ensure that the attractive countryside of Perthshire is protected from unsuitable and unsustainable developments that would adversely affect the landscape, environment and the communities within it. The Group would therefore recommend that as there are so many contraventions of PKC policy the application should be rejected.
I would therefore encourage you to urge the Planning Department and members of the Development Control Committee to ensure that the relevant PKC policies are adhered to when making a decision as to whether the proposal should be approved and to use your powers to ensure that the Carse of Gowrie is protected from such detrimental developments.