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Gateway scheme to build homes and shops near Helix Park is scrapped

After a seven year wait for something to happen, planning permission for the Gateway has been refused

After a seven year wait for something to happen, planning permission for the Gateway has been refused

 

Plans to build shops, houses, a leisure complex, hotel and business centre next to The Helix Park have been scrapped - for the time being.

The grand scheme for the huge Gateway site between Falkirk and Grangemouth was given outline approval by Falkirk Council seven years ago.

But now councillors have agreed the ambitious project proposed by developers MacDonald Estates in 2007 should have planning permission refused because it is taking too long to move forward.

The move is being blamed on the recession - but will cost the council over £1 million which had been earmarked for improving public transport and motorway links in the area, providing cycle paths and helping pay for The Helix.

Despite the loss of the promised cash Director of development services Rhona Geisler’s recommendation was backed unanimously by the planning committee.

She said: “The lack of progress is partly due to the downturn in the economy, but with the applicant neither completing the legal agreement nor withdrawing the application the committee should refuse to grant planning permission because requirements have not been met.”

Councillors were told there had been “uncertainty” over the viability of the project for years and MacDonald Estates had held talks with all its development partners to find ways to keep it on course. In April the council asked them to withdraw the application but received no response.

Council leader Craig Martin said: “It’s time to move on. The best thing now is to get this site back on the market and hopefully someone else will come up with a plan.”

 

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