Falkirk Council’s Local Plan hits bum note

A councillor said Falkirk’s local development plan should be recycled and used for toilet paper as he argued planning permission should be granted for Bo’ness housing.

By Kirsty Paterson
Thursday, 24th September 2020, 7:00 am

Upper Braes councillor John McLuckie told the planning committee that he was in favour of allowing 12 new homes to be built on land at Northbank Farm.

The small area is next to a site that was controversially included in Falkirk’s new Local Development Plan by the Scottish Government reporter.

Mr McLuckie said this meant the area would soon have 200 new Miller Homes and argued they would rather overlook new houses than an “eyesore of a barn”.

Councillor John McLuckie

However, the committee heard from planning officers that discussions with Miller Homes were still ongoing and “by no means concluded”.

Bo’ness councillor Lynn Munro pointed out that 650 homes were soon to be built in Bo’ness.

She backed Bo’ness Community Council which said there was not enough detail and agreed with the officers’ recommendation to refuse.

Councillor Gary Bouse supported Mrs Munro, saying: “This is premature – it should have waited until the Miller site was determined first because I think the Miller site changes the landscape. At this moment in time it is sitting in the middle of countryside.”

Councillor Laura Murtagh agreed although she also said she was concerned a green belt site that wasn’t in the local plan would be developed simply because it was beside another site, adding: “We’ll end up with an endless creep of development if we take that principle.”

But Councillor James Kerr backed Mr McLuckie, agreeing there was no point waiting to see the result of the Miller Homes application.

Summing up, Mr McLuckie said: “Gone are the days when various proud councillors for Bo’ness used to stand up and say the local plan was a bible!

“What is the local plan to the people who objected to Gilston Park who are now getting houses? To the people in Larbert? To the people in Maddiston?

“The best place for the local plan would be to use it for recycling into toilet roll and wipe your a**e with it!” he said.

After a vote the committee said no to the plans.