Whitecross homes Falkirk Council rejection overturned by Scottish Government reporter

Falkirk Council’s decision to reject plans for 200 houses near the village of Whitecross has been overturned following an appeal to the Scottish Government.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 6:00 am
Falkirk Council logo.
Falkirk Council logo.

The report by the Department of Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) means that Malcolm Whitecross Ltd. can go ahead with plans to build on land north of Crownerland Farm – albeit with several conditions.

The Reporter ruled on several areas where the developer and the council could not agree.

A major sticking point between Malcolm Whitecross Ltd and Falkirk Council was the cost of improvements that will need to be made to the junction with the M9 at Lathallan roundabout.

The reporter’s verdict was that the developer should take on 15.6 per cent of the cost. The reporter agreed with the council that improvements to the junction of Myrehead Road and the A803 were needed, but he said these could be done by modifying the original road.

He also ruled that the junction of Myrehead Road and the A803 must be upgraded by the time 100 houses on the development are occupied.

The decision also forces a compromise between the two sides as the Reporter agreed that extensions would be needed for Whitecross Primary and Graeme High School. The developer had suggested that children be educated at Bo’ness High School instead, but they were told that this would not be an acceptable solution.

The Reporter, however, could not find enough clarity on what was needed in terms of a contribution to healthcare.

The developer will, however, be asked for improvements to bus services and to the improvement and maintenance open space.

There will also be a cycle/footpath crossing the Manuel Burn to connect the site to the recreational ground on Vellore Road.

This appeal decision was made before the council’s most recent decision to allow 400 homes plus shops and commercial units to go ahead on the site of the former Manuel brickworks.

The Reporter stresses that he is considering the site on its own merits, but he acknowledges that it is part of a bigger picture, which includes the Manuel site and a possible 500 houses at Gilston in Polmont.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​