Dismay over verdict on greenbelt housing near Maggie’s Centre

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Disappointed Larbert residents have found they will not be able to appeal a Reporter’s decision that new housing should be allowed near Forth Valley Royal Hospital and the nearby Maggie’s Centre. 

Members of Stirling Road Residents’ Association had hoped to mount a legal challenge to the ruling, which will see houses being built on greenbelt beside the hospital.

The hard-fought campaign against the outline planning permission highlighted major problems with the area’s infrastructure, with residents claiming schools, medical services and roads network are already at breaking point.

Forth Valley NHS had also objected to the proposed development amid fears that the peaceful nature of the Maggie’s Centre would be overwhelmed.

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The Reporter found, however, that the area’s need for housing was more pressing and gave the development the green light.

Stirling Road residents were prepared to challenge the case through the court of session, despite knowing this would cost up to £15,000.

A crowdfunding campaign helped them raise legal fees to obtain a QC’s advice, but it was not what they hoped to hear.

They were told that the only way they could appeal was on a point of law and the counsel felt that there was nothing in the reporter’s judgement that could be challenged in that way.

Peter Deans, a member of Stirling Roads Residents Association, said they were disappointed with the result and vowed to keep a close eye on the application as it proceeds.

He said: “Larbert residents must at some point must stop developers buying up what little greenfield sites that are left and building more houses.

“There is at this time a great strain on our schools, doctors, hospital, roads network, impact on wildlife and open space.

“Somehow Larbert residents have to stand up and be counted.”