Plans approved for Camelon flats to help young people live independently

An unsightly bit of ground in Camelon will be transformed into four small flats that will help young people move from being in care to living on their own.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 5th December 2019, 12:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 5th December 2019, 12:31 pm
Pic: Michael Gillen
Pic: Michael Gillen

Falkirk Council’s planning committee has agreed the ground, to the east of Union Road, can be used by developer Barry Saville, who is working with the company Step Up on the project.

He told members the development would be a vast improvement on what is there and assured them it would be looked after.

The four units will have young people from the age of 16 supported by a full-time member of staff. The idea is that the flats are not long-term accommodation but a stepping stone to independence for those who need it.

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Mr Saville said: “It will be a secure environment where they can learn life skills while we’ll also be bringing the area up.”

Planners were concerned such a tiny piece of ground left no room for parking and urged councillors to refuse planning permission.

But Mr Saville argued that the type of young person using the facility will not have a car – and once they were ready to get driving lessons they would also be ready to move on to their own tenancy.

Local member Cecil Meiklejohn urged councillors to support the application, saying there was a shortage of this type of accommodation which was urgently needed.

She said: “This piece of land is in poor condition and this development would change that.”

She said being close to good transport links, the Mariner Centre and shops and health facilities made it a good location.

“The issue of parking has become an unnecessary barrier,” she said. “These young people can’t afford a car.”

The original plans show access from private ground but councillors heard this was no longer necessary and access would be from Union Road.

While councillors agreed the facility was necessary, some did not feel this was the right place for it. But a vote went in favour of the development.