Falkirk Council has voted to reject Miller Homes’ planning application for around 200 new houses in Bo’ness.
Edinburgh-based builder Miller Homes had submitted plans to build on land to the north of North Bank Farm – a site that is adjacent to its current development at Kinglass Fields.
It promised to create 30 affordable homes, create a foot and cycle path network, upgrade and realign Borrowstoun Road, and include a play area and landscaping.
There were ten objections to the proposed development and planning officers recommended refusal because the site is not part of the local development plan.
Bo’ness councillor Lynn Munro, leader of the Conservative group, said it was significant that the community had no great objections to this site.
She proposed that the council should say yes to the development and her Conservative colleague David Grant also urged councillors to give the go-ahead.
He said: “I’m totally confused – everything we’ve asked Miller Homes for, they’ve given us it. They’re even going to fix a road for us!”
Councillor Anne Ritchie spoke highly of Miller Homes and the relationship they have built up with the community but she said she had too many concerns about the narrow Borrowstoun Road being suitable for the development.
Miller Homes had promised to straighten the road and get rid of the dip in it but several councillors felt that would only make the road more dangerous as people would be tempted to speed even more.
Planning committee convener David Alexander was among those who had worries about the road and he backed the officer’s refusals. He said that while Miller Homes had an excellent relationship with the community the proposal was “a significant variation from the local plan”.
Councillors voted by 16 to seven to reject the plans.
Arthur Mann, strategic land director at Miller Homes said: “We are naturally disappointed with the decision taken regarding our planning application but grateful for the support that we did receive at Council. We will now reflect upon this decision and consider our options.”