Homes opponents sticking together in Banknock

Residents are against the plan
Residents are against the plan

Residents protesting against a planned housing development clashed with engineers sent in to inspect the site.

Neighbours are furious open space at the end of Hazel Road and Auchincloch Drive in Banknock has been targeted by Link Housing Association for 30 homes.

There were angry scenes last Tuesday when a team of experts hired to carry out a ground inspection arrived.

Alan McCann, a member of the local Tenants and Residents Association, which is leading the campaign against the build, claimed he was nearly run over.

Residents refused to move cars, making access to the site difficult. Police were called in to monitor events

Mr McCann (33) said: “The driver of one vehicle drove towards me as I was on the pavement walking towards my car. I jumped out of the way and as he passed he shouted I should not be blocking the road! ”

The site was identified as being surplus to requirements by Falkirk Council five years ago and a decision in principle taken then to sell it to Link. However, a planning application from them was refused by the council’s planning committee but granted on appeal by the Scottish Government last July.

Objectors say they were never consulted about the proposal and nobody is in favour of it.

They fear that as well as robbing them of a rare piece of open space the development will raise serious amenity issues.

Mr McCann claimed: “Most people did not even know this development was happening and would have objected immediately if they had. We feel that nobody at the council is taking our concerns seriously. This has been a ‘tick the box’ exercise with little regard for the impact it will have on the community.

“The primary school has massive issues with parking and road safety, you have to wait two weeks to get an appointment with a doctor at the surgery, the sports centre is closed at weekends and the kids are crying out for a piece of grass and a football pitch.”

Yesterday (Wednesday) a spokeswoman for Link said: “Insight Geo were carrying out a site investigation that will establish the ground conditions and assist with the design of the foundations. Starting building work on the site is subject to project funding which is unlikely to be confirmed before September. Once the build starts it will likely take around 15 months to complete.

The development will consist of 30 units of family housing, two of which are designed for wheelchair users. Of the 30 units, half will be allocated through nomination from Falkirk Council.”