New consultation over controversial plans for 450 homes on green belt in Bo’ness

The developer behind a controversial plan to build hundreds of houses on green belt land in Bo’ness has launched a consultation on new designs that could see up to 450 houses being built.

By Kirsty Paterson, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 22nd July 2021, 4:56 pm

Proposals for 240 homes on the land beside Crawfield Road, south of the fire station were rejected by councillors earlier this year. Now the developers have submitted a new proposal of application notice to Falkirk Council.

The scale of the development means they must once again consult the local community and a new website is now online to tell people more and answer any questions.

If permission is granted, the housing – along with some potential commercial or community use – will be built in two phases over the next 10 years.

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In 2017 residents aired concerns over proposed housing development on green belt land at Crawfield Road in the fields stretching from the Fire Station to Kinneil Woods. Proposal is for approximately 450 houses. (Pic: Michael Gillen)

In the first phase, applicants Mactaggart & Mickel and AWG will work with Robertson Residential Group to build around 230 new homes.

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Mactaggart & Mickel and AWG will also seek a partner for the second phase, the western part of the site, which will have around 220 units and possibly some commercial or community use too.

Previously, their plans to build 240 houses in the area met opposition, when more than 300 local residents signed a petition against the plans, with many voicing concerns about the loss of green belt.

Green belt land at Crawfield Road in the fields stretching from the Fire Station to Kinneil Woods (Pic: Michael Gillen)

However, the larger area in the latest application is now earmarked for development in the latest local development plan, after a Scottish Government reporter overturned the council’s decision and agreed that up to 450 new homes could be built on the site.

The decision has left those who campaigned against the previous plans feeling they can no longer object to the development.

Bo’ness Community Council convener Madelene Hunt said: “It’s now in the local plan because the Scottish Government reporter put it in, so we won’t be commenting as it is a foregone conclusion that there will be houses.”

However, she said, she would take part in the consultation to look for reassurances that issues such as flooding are being addressed.

“The main issue that really worries people living nearby is flooding,” she said.

“Once you start building houses there is less land for water to soak away, so the more possibility there is of flooding.”

The consultation aims to put people’s minds at rest about this and other issues that have been raised.

It highlights plans for traffic calming on Crawfield Road and offers assurances that drainage infrastructure will address any issues of flooding.

The developers say the project will bring lots of benefits, including traffic calming on Crawfield Road, landscaping, play spaces and recreational areas, more footpaths and cycle connections to the John Muir Way.

They have also pledged that 15 per cent of the homes will be classed as affordable housing.

A spokesperson for Robertson Residential Group, said: “As the principle of residential development has now been set for the land by the planning authority, we now wish to take forward a design with placemaking at the heart of our approach and see the forthcoming consultation and subsequent feedback as a valuable element in assisting our architects to meet the aspirations of stakeholders.”

Residents can find out more, ask questions and give feedback on the plans via the website until August 11.

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