Mixed reaction to Bo’ness garage site plan

PLANS for a gap site in Bo’ness have divided opinion in the town.

Grange Estates has applied for planning permission in principle - formerly known as outline planning consent - to build three homes on a lock-up site between Graham Crescent and Grahamsdyke Road.

A site meeting on Monday enabled the applicant’s agent, councillors, objectors and supporters of the scheme the chance to exchange their views.

Falkirk Council’s planning department has supported the application and recommends approval.

The report to committee said the planners had seen illustrations which showed that the site could support three properties.

Residents objected to loss of light, loss of amenity, disturbance during construction and to the overall scale.

Road safety, parking and emergency vehicle access were also questioned.

However, some residents were in favour since they felt the current condition of the site compromised their safety and security.

The report by development services director, Rhona Geisler, stated: ‘‘It is considered the proposed residential land use is compatible with the neighbouring residential uses.’’

But Graham Crescent resident Jan Maher said: ‘‘I don’t think Grange Estates has any intention of developing it themselves.

‘‘I believe it is their intention to get planning permission and then sell it on to a developer.

‘‘We could very well see an application for flats because a developer believes he can get more than three properties on the site.’’

She added: ‘‘I didn’t realise homes on Grahamsdyke Road had been broken into so I can understand why residents there would welcome this development.’’

The visit was arranged after Councillor John Constable ‘‘called in’’ the application.

He said: ‘‘I felt members could not make a judgement without seeing the site for themselves. I’d be surprised if many Bo’ness people were familiar with the site either.’’

Patrick Cadell of Grange Estates said: ‘‘The opportunity is there to turn this site into an appropriate development.’’

Councillor Billy Buchanan, regulatory committee convener, said: ‘‘The site visit was probably one of the best I can remember in terms of public participation.’’

A decision is expected on March 23.