Meeting hears of Falkirk Council’s plans for more housing in Hallglen

An unusual special hearing of Falkirk Council saw one department of the council applying to another for permission to build  111 new social houses  and a new roundabout in Hallglen.

Members of the public were invited to the pre-determination hearing held in Westquarter Primary School on Thursday evening and three people came along to find out more about the project.

They and the councillors were assured it would be high quality housing carefully landscaped to fit in with its semi-rural surroundings and carefully designed to be energy efficient and easy to heat.

The original farm steading, which has been vacant since 2012, will be partly demolished and rebuilt to create 12 houses, with the rest designed to complement its appearance.

Some of the houses will be adapted for disabled people which will allow the council to help some of the people currently looking for adapted homes.

Councillor David Balfour asked if there would be play equipment on the open space but he was told there would probably not be as there is easy access to Callendar Park from the development.

Councillor Pat Reid asked if they were going to fix the boundary wall of the park and he was told they would look at it and fix any bits that are dangerous.

One former Hallglen resident asked if the entrances to the park would remain open and she was assured they would be and that extra pavements would actually make it easier to access.

Councillor Lorna Binnie asked what the parking situation would be like – something she knows is a problem for many residents of Hallglen.

Architect Gillian Agnew explained that single-bedroom flats will have one space allocated, two bedroom properties will have two spaces and four-bedroom houses will have three parking spaces.

Some of these will be spaces in driveways and others will be in parking courts and there will be an additional 25 per cent for visitor parking.

She also said that while they would not have electric charging points, they would be prepared so they could easily be installed in the future.

The meeting was attended by ten councillors who asked questions to help inform their decision when the council meets to decide whether or not it will get the go-ahead.

One member of the public was concerned about the speed of cars going through Hallglen and asked if speed restrictions would change.

He was told they would not but convener David Alexander assured him his concerns would be noted and taken into consideration.

They were also assured that traffic management would be the responsibility of the contractors but would be carefully considered.

The project has been given a grant of £6.7 million from the Scottish Government and work is expected to start next year and be finished by 2023.

The demand for new social housing is predicted to be 1000 over the next five years and the 111 homes are among 600 that will be built in that time.