Dunmore Pineapple: Visitor  centre and housing plans set to face objections at meeting

Plans to build a visitor centre beside the famous Dunmore Pineapple, alongside 82 new bungalows will face objections from the National Trust for Scotland in a special livestreamed meeting next week.

By Kirsty Paterson, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Friday, 14th January 2022, 4:15 pm

The pre-determination hearing on Thursday will give councillors a chance to hear from the developers, George Russell Construction Limited.

The locally-based firm wants to build on land at Airth Mains Farm and say the visitor centre will have a cafe – which will make it financially viable – as well as an exhibition space and toilets.

There will also be improved parking for cars and coaches.

The Dunmore Pineapple folly cared for by National Trust for Scotland. (Pic: Michael Gillen)

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The 82 houses they say they need to build to make the project viable will be available only to people aged over 55.

The development will also include changes to the road layout, realigning the B9124 to the north, to provided access to the visitor centre, before it swings back southwards to join its existing alignment.

A new roundabout junction on the A905 would be created and the existing B9124 junction would be closed to vehicles.

The hearing will also be an opportunity for anyone against the plans to make their points – and that could include the National Trust for Scotland, which owns the landmark building.

In a statement, they have said that they do not welcome the proposed development and have not committed to a partnership with the developers for the project.

They are concerned that the landscape and setting could be impacted and wildlife – including a population of great crested newts – could be disturbed.

The meeting will also hear from other consultees, including Falkirk Council’s roads, education and housing departments as well as Forth Valley NHS.

Previously, an outline plan for a visitor centre along with 22 bungalows – on 15 hectares of land at Airth Mains Farm – was approved by Falkirk Council’s planning committee.

But, developer George Russell said that a larger number of homes was needed to support the cost of the development.

The report going to councillors states that there have been 81 representations in support of the application, 67 objections and five neutral representations.

The pre-determination hearing can be watched online on Thursday, January 20 at 6:00pm.

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