Falkirk Council: Denny businessman refused plans for two houses next to Courtyard coffee shop

An application to build two houses on farmland near Denny has been refused by Falkirk councillors.
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Steven Russell applied for permission to build the two new homes on land close to the Courtyard coffee shop, just off the Drove Loan.

Members of Falkirk Council’s planning committee heard on Wednesday that an area of land on the farm now has 12 units including several houses and the coffee shop.

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Planning officers said the previous planning applications had been approved because it was regarded as brownfield land, which had developed in a “sporadic” fashion.

Steven Russell wanted to build two homes next to the Courtyard coffee shop near Denny. Pic: Michael GillenSteven Russell wanted to build two homes next to the Courtyard coffee shop near Denny. Pic: Michael Gillen
Steven Russell wanted to build two homes next to the Courtyard coffee shop near Denny. Pic: Michael Gillen

Officers felt that the new application, however, was taking the site from brownfield into greenbelt land, which is currently used for grazing horses.

Falkirk Council’s roads department said it was concerned that there is currently only a private access road.

Officers said the proposal represented a safety hazard due to the increased traffic on a private access road which does not have adequate street lighting or a footpath.

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The applicant’s supporting statement stated that the two additional houses are required for his daughters who work in the cafe and have an early start each day preparing food.

However, the officers’ report said there was no justification for two houses being needed for such a small cafe.

Members heard that there is already planning permission for two houses on land being used as a car park for the coffee shop, and the applicant suggested this could be revoked in favour of the new plans.

However, officers said that they did not feel that building on the greenbelt land, past a defined boundary, was acceptable.

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Councillors also heard that revoking planning permission was very rare and could certainly not be decided at the meeting.

Councillor Gary Bouse proposed that the committee accepted the officers’ recommendation to refuse and this was unanimously agreed by members.

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