Visitor centre and 82 bungalows planned near Dunmore Pineapple

New plans to build a visitor centre beside the Dunmore Pineapple, near Airth, alongside 82 bungalows for older people, have now been submitted to Falkirk Council.

The Dunmore Pineapple folly cared for by National Trust for Scotland. It was a summerhouse built for the 4th Earl of Dunmore. Picture Michael Gillen.

Previously, an outline plan for a visitor centre for the historic building and 22 homes was approved by members of Falkirk Council's planning committee.

But developer George Russell now says that a larger number of homes is necessary to meet the costs of several planning conditions imposed by the council.

These include: a contribution towards active and passive open space; the provision of 25 per cent of units at the site as affordable housing; public transport; and a contribution to address the local healthcare impacts.

The locally-based construction company will also foot the bill for building a new roundabout to serve the A905/B9124.

Mr Russell said: "The current expanded proposals are needed to cover the cost of these obligations and deliver a much needed tourist development for the local area."

The plans also include improved parking near the landmark building, which is owned by the National Trust for Scotland and leased to the Landmark Trust.

Despite being such a recognisable architectural folly, the Pineapple currently has no visitor facilities at all, and no access for coaches.

The developers says the National Trust for Scotland welcomes the proposals and the plans for the visitor centre which will include information/exhibition space, arts and crafts workshop, toilets, a café and retail areas.

The development is planned for 15 hectares of land at Airth Mains Farm.

Dedicated road access will be provided from the A905 with an upgraded junction onto the B9124 for the bungalow residential area.

A public consultation was launched in January this year, which found general support for the visitor centre and bungalows.

Questions were raised about how the bungalows could be restricted to the over-55 age group, as Airth Primary is already at capacity.

The applicant responded that occupation and owner restrictions can be controlled by both a burden on title and legal agreement with Falkirk Planning Authority.

They also promise that no public rights of way will be adversely affected by any of the development.

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