More information needed on Whitecross plans

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Developers seeking permission for a major housing development in Whitecross have been told they must 
provide more information before they get the green light.

The proposal is to build around 400 houses plus shops and community facilities as well as commercial units on the site of the former Manuel Brickworks, to the East of Almondhall Farm.

Members of the public had been invited to find out more at an exhibition which was held at the Power Station in Whitecross on July 2017 and the proposals overall were well received.

The main concerns were access and the suitability of the existing roads and nearby bridge over the railway, as well as capacity at the existing primary school.

Councillor David Alexander, convener of the planning committee, said he felt there was a lack of 
information about the infrastructure for housing on the site of the former Stein brickworks.

He said: “I moved to continue the matter. I generally support the application because it will bring benefits – it is a brownfield site so it takes away development of green field sites, which is something we’re always being asked about.

“It  is an opportunity to get development that will assist regeneration of Whitecross, but it has been rejected for the moment on the grounds of a lack of infrastructure – for example the walkway to the school will not be built until 200 houses are full.

“That’s not acceptable.”

Councillor Alexander added: “We’ll see when it comes back if the issues have been addressed. We’ll hopefully get more information and see if we can make it a goer.”

The 30 hectares site, which sits beside Whitecross village, had previously been earmarked for a development of 1500 homes plus a mixture of businesses, a new primary school and other facilities.

Planners are worried that this development is on a much smaller scale so would represent a piecemeal development and have rejected it.