Blueprint for Falkirk district agreed

A development blueprint which will shape the future of Falkirk district for the next 20 years has been agreed.

Councillors rubber-stamped recommendations made in the Proposed Falkirk Local Development Plan when they met. It, and details of issues still to be resolved, will now be put to Scottish Ministers.

The LDP replaces the council’s current structure plan and local plan which has traditionally controlled its house building and economic development strategy. It was approved in principle last March and then opened up to the public and business community to account for their views.

A six-week period for representations attracted 1460 individual comments which were assessed by council officers and a 269-page report was considered by members.

A large number of the objections received related to proposals to zone specific areas of land for housing while developers took the opportunity to promote sites for house building not included in the plan.

Land earmarked for business, infrastructure proposals, the environment, policies on major hazards, countryside and green belt, developer contributions, retailing and town centres also attracted comment.

Councillors were told the plan agreed last March is still considered a “robust” document. Director of development services Rhona Geisler said: “Having regard to the representations and any changes in circumstances which may have occurred since April 2013, it is not considered there is any overriding need or justification to make notifiable changes.

“In that light it is recommended the council submits the Proposed Plan in its present form to Scottish Ministers. This will allow the plan to progress speedily to the next stage and unresolved issues to be independently assessed and determined by Reporters as soon as possible.”