New home plans approved for Bonnybridge farmer

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A Bonnybridge farmer who wants to set a new enterprise to take him into retirement was granted planning permission to build a new home.

Falkirk Council’s planning committee heard that Robert Denholm’s family have farmed in the area for 200 years, passing on the business through the generations.

Mr Denholm now intends to leave the work of the dairy farm to his sons while he uses his expertise to breed pedigree cows and sheep.

His wife will also run a bed and breakfast from the proposed new four-bedroom home,  north of Wester Bankhead Farm, Annet Road, Head of Muir the committee heard.

Planning officers recommended refusal as the house would be built on agricultural land and the fledgling business does not employ enough staff to merit this.

However, agent Ann Cunningham, representing Mr Denholm, argued that the farmer had a five-year business plan and was confident that within three years the business would start to see a profit and employ more people.

She said he already made huge improvements to the land his cattle and sheep were on, turning it from scrubland to pasture.

She said the the house, which would be ‘modern with a traditional look’ would be carefully landscaped so it would improve the pastoral view.

Ms Cunningham also pointed out that the application was supported by the Scottish Agricultural College and the National Farmers’ Union.

Councillors agreed that Mr Denholm was well respected member of the farming community and the new venture should be supported, so he was granted planning permission.