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Our local Councillors asked the Planning Officers for an explanation - here is the response
 
Here are my responses to questions you raise: -

1. It is our understanding that the developers proposing Airthrey Kerse are undertaking additional work on the flood risk assessment, traffic issues and various other considerations surrounding the site and are continuing their dialogue on these matters with SEPA, Council flood officers and traffic engineers, to ensure that a correct methodology and process is being used to determine the results of all the work.

We anticipate that the outcomes of the various ongoing studies by the developer will be submitted to support their objection to the Proposed Plan before the representation deadline of 10 December 2012. Any formal representation the developer makes will be shared with the relevant external agencies and services within the Council and will be available to view publicly at the end of the period of representation. Any analysis / response from SEPA to information submitted is likely to be outwith the period for representation as they will not be able to respond formally until any developers representation is submitted. The Council will respond to all representations made in a formal submission to Scottish Government and will also require to consider flood risk issues as part of its duty as the responsible authority under the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009.

If the representation goes forward as an unresolved objection to the Proposed Plan, the Examination Reporter may seek further information from relevant agencies, the Council and others to inform the Examination process. The content and extent of the information requested would be at the Reporters discretion.

2. As part of the Examination into unresolved objections, the Reporter will examine all the evidence before him and if required, direct that a hearing session be held with the relevant parties to discuss the issues raised. The Reporter as an independent body and is therefore able to remove sites, introduce sites, bring sites forward in terms of phasing, or reduce / increase the size of sites, as he sees appropriate. The Recommendations made in the report to the Council at the end of the Examination process are largely binding on the Council.

3. The purpose of the new style of development plans is to provide a greater degree of certainty to the public, developers and infrastructure providers on where development is likely to occur both in the short (5 years), medium (5-10 years) and longer term (20+ years). The overall vision and spatial strategy for the Plan should not therefore alter over this time period.

The 5 yearly review of the Plan will take place from 2014 to 2019 with the publication of a Main Issues Report from 2019 onwards and following that, a Proposed Plan. It is anticipated that the sites identified in Period 1: Phase 1 (to 2019) will have been mostly developed during this timeframe and that additional work will have been undertaken on those identified for Phase 2 (2019 to 2024) and the longer term (after 2024) to establish whether they are feasible or not.

The review process allows for the land supply to be monitored and reviewed, and additional sites to be considered for allocation or removed from the Plan as necessary. If sites are proven to have constraints that cannot be overcome within the timeframe under consideration (i.e. 2019 - 2029), they are unlikely to be allocated within the Plan. Following the current Scottish Government regulations, the review of the Local Development Plan would be subject to the same consultation and external examination by an independent Reporter.

4. Within the Proposed Plan all sites in Period 2 (after 2024), for both residential and employment development, have 'key site requirements' despite being indicative at this stage and not specific allocations. As noted above, the purpose of the 20 year vision provided by the LDP is to provide greater certainty in the process and allow full consideration of the constraints and issues affecting each potential site. Certainty can only be achieved if stakeholders are fully aware of any requirements that a site may present if it becomes an allocation. By highlighting key site requirements at such an early stage, developers can examine site viability in more detail, agencies can consider the impact and any mitigation, and the public can appraise the opportunity more fully.

5. There are no delineations of the boundary of H056, the proposed boundaries put forward by the developer of Airthrey Kerse would not therefore be acceptable. A full FRA is required (yet to be received) along with views from SEPA and the Council's flooding officers to determine, if, and to what extent, land at Airthrey Kerse may be suitable for development in the longer term. There are also wider issues that the Council has concerns about relating to Green Belt and the need to protect the settlement edge and prevent coalescence, and mitigate any impacts on local infrastructure. The most recent information we have regarding flooding, which we have shared with you, is the Progress Report on the FRA from August 2012 which suggests that the most likely areas for potential development are located adjacent to Causewayhead. However, as you are aware this information was neither complete, conclusive nor exhaustive and requires additional work and analysis.

As it currently stands, the Proposed Plan approved by the Council at the Special Meeting on the 26th September, shows an indicative direction for growth of Causewayhead after 2024. This is termed Airthrey Kerse (H056) to allow for any representations that the Council receives to be recorded and summarised for the Examination process. No specific area is allocated for development, the whole area currently remains in the Green Belt and it is the Council's view that it should be for a future review of the Plan (as described above) to determine if development should take place here. However, should the matter of H056 be before the Examination Reporter, it is for him to determine if the Council's approach is appropriate in light of the evidence that will be presented at Examination.

regards,
Claire

Claire Milne
Principal Planning Officer


SEPA report wins the day!!!!!!!!!!
 
The following is a copy of an email from Councillor Callum Campbell
 
Dear All

I am delighted to confirm that the proposed 800 house development at Airthrey Kerse has been withdrawn from the proposed LDP by the Council due to serious flooding concerns following continued objections by SEPA.

Best regards

Callum

All of our local Councillors and Councillor Thomson from Causewayhead have all worked in unison to achieve this result. There is still room in the Council rejection of the scheme to allow some building on the site at a future date if the drainage problem can be sorted out.
On Wednesday night, when you would have been at the meeting, put your feet up and drink a toast to SEPA and your local Councillors!
 
 
 Proposed Local Development Plan Update
 
SEPA response to new drainage proposals
 
SEPA have once again stated that they will not approve any development on Airthrey Kerse! They follow it up by saying that in the event of the Council granting planning permission they have to notify the Scottish Minister (see following extract)
SEPA also note in their response that the developers appear to have water running uphill! ( see extract 2)
 

 1 Executive Summary Outlining Policy Context

 

We maintain our objection to the proposed development on the grounds that it may place buildings and persons at flood risk contrary to Scottish Planning Policy and PAN 69.

 

In the event that the planning authority proposes to grant planning permission contrary to this advice on flood risk the application must be notified to the Scottish Ministers as per The Town and Country Planning (Notification of Applications) (Scotland) Direction 2009.

 

2

·         It is not clear if the flood storage / wetland structure can drain to the Forglen Burn via a ditch.  Would this not require flows to go against the natural gradient?.  There may also be a risk of floodwater within the Forglen Burn backing up the ditch and perhaps entering the pond.  We would stress that further detail should be provided on the proposed drainage and operation of the proposed attenuation basin for SEPA to have confidence that this proposal can work in practice.

 

The Council meeting on the 26th September starts at 6.30pm. All of our local Councillors have been contacted, more than once!, and all are aware of our concerns. Please try and go to the meeting, possibly being there for 6pm to support our local Councillors - both Bridge of Allan and Causewayhead as they work on our behalf againt the proposal on the Local Development Plan

 
 
 
 
The new drainage report by Graham's hydrological consultants has been submitted to the Council and SEPA. SEPA will submit their response before the Council meeting on 26th of the month. The report highlights potential problems not identified in the original report. WE DESPERATELY NEED THE SERVICES OF A QUALIFIED HYDROLOGIST TO CORRECTLY INTERPRET TECHNICAL QUESTIONS RELATED TO ARTESIAN WATER
 
 
Over 600 people submitted objection forms to the proposed development at Airthrey Kerse and all should now have been notified in writting of the Special Council meeting on 26 th September in the Council Chambers at Viewforth, Stirling. The meeting starts at 6.30pm
 
Breaking news 3 p.m. 21/8/12 - a Councillor pays heed to his constituants
 

Local Councillor Ready to Reject Proposed Airthrey Kerse Development

 

Callum Campbell, Conservative councillor for Dunblane & Bridge of Allan, has signalled that he is not prepared to support any proposed new building or development carried out on green belt land at Airthrey Kerse in Bridge of Allan.

 

Stirling Council’s Draft Local Development Plan has earmarked Airthrey Kerse as an area where up to 800 new houses could be built.

 

Commenting on the draft plan, Councillor Campbell said –

 

“We have spent plenty of time and effort going through a thorough consultation process with the local community. The feedback that I am getting from those who have responded is that they do not want to see any development on the Airthrey Kerse green belt. Consultation is carried out for a very good reason. It is done to ensure that the community’s views are heard and are taken into consideration. Its purpose is not just to simply tick a box”.

 

“The message from those who attended the meeting at Wallace High School in December last year was quite clear. As an elected member of Stirling Council, it is my duty to ensure that these views are taken into account when making any decisions. That is how democracy works.”

 

“Other than wishing to protect the green belt, local amenity and coalescence between Bridge of Allan and Causewayhead , a question mark also hangs over the continuous flooding problems experienced at the Airthrey Kerse site.”

 

“It is equally important, of course, to ensure that Stirling has a Development Plan which is fit for purpose for the next 20 years. Planning officers have put in a tremendous amount of work to date, but we will need to look at alternative solutions that not only meet our future housing and infrastructure needs, but are also acceptable to our local communities”

 

The Draft Local Development Plan is due to be debated  at a special meeting of Stirling Council scheduled for 26th September.

 
It would appear from various pieces of correspondance with the Council, including responses to enquiries from Anne McGuire MP, that the Council Planning Dept would appear to be intent on allowing buiding to go ahead in some form on Airthrey Kerse.
 
What information has come to light since you objected to the development?
 
SEPA was asked to submit comments on the entire Local Development Plan. Most of the proposed development areas were commented on in a paragraph. Airthrey Kerse however required a 4 page addendum pointing out why development should not go ahead. Their comments include
 

Executive Summary Outlining Policy Context

 

We object to the proposed development on the grounds that it may place buildings and persons at flood risk contrary to Scottish Planning Policy and PAN 69.  Additional information could be submitted to provide more detail on the flood risk at this location, however the information which we have reviewed to date highlights that the site is at risk of flooding.  It should be noted that further detailed assessment may only serve to support our concerns and show that the development site is unsuitable for development as it is at flood risk and will increase the risk of flooding to neighbouring areas
 
We have received additional information in support of the proposed land allocation reference H056 (previously BOFA.B) for the upcoming Stirling Local Development Plan.  We have previously commented on this allocation (response dated 2 September 2011) and recommended that it was removed from the local plan due to the overriding flood risk constraint.
 
Additional information regarding the dredging activities including the dates of when the watercourse was dredged and when the cross sections were taken on the Forglen Burn would be required to understand the potential impact of this issue on flood risk.  This is particularly important when estimating the risk of flooding to the proposed new development and local area.  If the cross sections were taken just after the Forglen Burn was dredged, then the hydraulic model will overestimate the hydraulic capacity of the Forglen Burns channel (as the channel will become infilled to a degree after a flood event, hence why dredging has to be routinely carried out on previously dredged watercourses) and therefore underestimate the risk of flooding.  It is likely that dredging will have to be carried out routinely throughout the lifetime of the development.  A development dependent on regular dredging to reduce the risk of flooding is unsustainable and cannot be supported by SEPA
 
As there are a number of flow paths and significant storage predicted to occur on the southern part of allocation H056, altering ground levels will divert these existing flow paths to neighbouring areas and developing this site would also result in a loss of storage.  Both actions will in turn increase the risk of flooding to neighbouring areas which is contrary to SPP and another reason why we are unable to support the incorporation of H056 within the upcoming local plan.
 
It should be noted that the new Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 is designed to reduce the adverse consequences of flooding for human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity. Significantly, it prescribes a new responsibility for Scottish Ministers, SEPA, Scottish Water and local authorities to exercise their flood risk related functions with a view to reducing overall flood risk and promote sustainable flood risk management.  The cornerstone of sustainable flood management is the avoidance of flood risk in the first instance.  Planning has a crucial role to play in ensuring that, wherever possible, unnecessary risks are avoided.  The benefits of this approach include future development that is free from significant flood risk
 
The information submitted to date in the form of the flood risk assessments, photos provided by local residents as well as the Indicative River and Coastal Flood Map (Scotland) identify that the site is at risk of flooding.  Due to the findings of this information and the fact that the development is on undeveloped land, we would strongly recommend that the allocation is removed from the upcoming plan
 
If your authority goes against our advice and retains the allocation within the LDP then additional information in the form of a detailed flood risk assessment would have to be undertaken to fully assess the risk of flooding to H056 from all sources of flood risk to justify the feasibility of development at this location.  Such a study should incorporate all the additional information referred to in paragraphs 6, 8, 9 and 10 above.  We would highlight that such an assessment may only serve to support our concerns and show that the development site is unsuitable for development as it is at flood risk and will increase the risk of flooding to neighbouring areas
 
What will the further report by the developers show?
 
During the summer the developers did some test bores on the Kerse and the results could not be encouraging! Bore tests show that under a thin layer of soil there is approximately 2 metres of clay floating on a thick layer of mud with the ground water level at a depth of about 4 metres. Hardly ideal drainage conditions!
 
How the proposed development effects our travel plans
 
The Council's own report on the effects of the Local Development Plan on traffic flow is even more damning than the developers surmise that the roundabout at Causewayhead would probably need to be controlled by traffic lights. The Council identify 6 major "choke points" that would effect or be effected by the Local Development Plan in Stirlingshire - three of these choke points relate to the development at Airthrey Kerse!
 
The points identified are
Pirnhall Roundabout
Clock Roundabout
Cornton Road/Causewayhead Road junction and Causewayhead Road
Craigs Roundabout
St Ninians Roundabout
Causewayhead Roundabout
 
The report adds that "traffic growth which will increase congestion at the above points, which will quickly have a knock on effect on adjacent pinch points and decrease the accessibility to and from Stirling"
 
The MIR report identified the junctions of Henderson Street/Fountain Road and Henderson Street/Union Street as choke points.
The report recommends that a way to avoid the congestion of the Airthrey Kerse Development is to include the proposed Kildean river crossing and University link road in the development - but this major road development is not in the Councils Plans!
 
 
Education Report
 
 The Council's Education Report shows that there will be a shortage of spaces in secondary schools in Stirling Area
Wallace High to reach capacity in 2015
Bannockburn High to reach capacity in 2016 and Stirling High to reach capacity 2016/2017
 
Where will our children go for their education in an expanded Bridge of Allan/Causewayhead?
 
 
 Conclusion
 
 If you live in the area in Bridge of Allan south of the A9, Causewayhead on the west side of Causewayhead Road or in Cornton then trying to get out of these areas at peak times will be extremely difficult. Like wise if you stay in upper Bridge of Allan and need to turn right on Henderson Street to get to work/school in the morning then you will find it extemely congested.
If you have a child at primary school in Bridge of Allan/Cornton or Causewayhead there is a possibility of them being bussed out of the area to a school with spare capacity.
 
WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW??????
 
 At the Council meeting on the 1st March when the Draft report was submitted to the Council our Councillor Callum Campbell made an elloquent statement that democracy in the Stirling area had taken a beating with the electricity pylons going ahead dispite the large local oposition to it and that he hoped that the views of the 600+ objectors from Bridge of Allan and Causewayhead to the Airthrey Green would not be overlooked in the same manner. Councillor Campbell has since confirmed that he still holds these views. Councillor Ruskell is actively opposed to the scheme.
Councillor Houston worked quietly in the backgound on our behalf in the last administration and can be emailed at houstong@stirling.gov.uk and of course Provost Robbins is newly elected and might not be fully aware of the degree of concern the development creates. He can be contacted at robbinsm@stirling.gov.uk
All of the Councillors have local surgeries between now and the 26th September.
 
Attend the meeting on 26th September - make your views known
 
The Local development Plan will be discussed at Bridge of Allan Community Council on 21st August

  

 
 
 

 

        

 

 

 
References To Points highlighted in cover letter:
Green Belt to 180 Meters (click for extract)
800 houses detailed in LDP (click for extract)
Kildean Link still not out the question (click for extract)

Our goal is to raise awareness to points that have been of concern to residents in the past, the plan is extensive and it is encouraged to view all in detail to obtain a complete view. 

There are up and coming planning meetings, we would encourage you to go!

Flooding
This area is known to be prone to flooding, and even the most optimistic proposal from the development states that it will flood to 0.2 metres in a 1 in 500 year event. Weather patterns are changing and this report is discreditied by local experts. Any change is water flow based on SEPA reports could impact existing properties in Bridge Of Allan.
Traffic
800 new houses in this area will likely bring an extra 400-500 cars at rush hour, this is 5 extra cars per minute, most likely flowing to the A9 through Bridge Of Allan. These extra cars are going to feed into what the Roads Dept already describe Henderson Street/Fountain Road and Henderson Street/Union Street road junctions as “choke Points”.
Community Identity
Bridge of Allan is a community with an identity an a history, that has only this year bean recognised nationally by Beautiful Scotland Best Small Town. The village identity maintains its place as a tourist attraction, a great place to live. The blending of this with Stirling will only reduce the perceived value and identity of Bridge Of Allan.
Other Key Objections
  • The community has already highlighted that the Green Belt Is important to them - Action Plan
  • Proposed Allotments - Contaminated land - Railway, clay, and tile works.
  • Highland games at risk?  Highland Games appear secure as Police confirm they will adjust their strategy to meet any changes that may develop.
  • Why is Bridge Of Allan Causewayhead identified as area for build when there are many other areas that have no development planned that would be better for flooding, transport and not spoiling historic area.

Recent Announcements

  • We will be regularly updating on what is happening, Subscribe to Save Bridge Of Allan Announcements by Email to get those updates as they happen. See top right of page
  • Airthrey Green campaign meeting Airthrey Green campaign meetingposted Nov 8, 2012 1:24 AM by Duncan McDougall Councillor Mark Ruskell is hosting a meeting in the Allan Water Community Centre at 7.30 ...
    Posted Nov 9, 2012 2:42 AM by Duncan McDougall
  • Airthrey Green Public meeting Councillor Mark Ruskell is holding a public meeting in the Allan Water Community Centre at 7.30 pm on Monday 12th November. This meeting will discuss the proposed development of ...
    Posted Nov 8, 2012 1:24 AM by Duncan McDougall
  • Planning Dept economical with the truth/facts On the 26th September at the Special meeting of Stirling Council an amendment was passed removing the Airthrey Green area, HO56, from the Local Development Plan. However, the Planning ...
    Posted Oct 30, 2012 10:19 AM by Duncan McDougall
  • Council meeting 26th September Anyone still intending to attend the meeting please note that it is Wednesday and not Tuesday as previously circulated. The decision by the Planning Dept to withdraw HO56 from the ...
    Posted Sep 24, 2012 11:38 AM by Duncan McDougall
  • SEPA wins the day E mail from Councillor Campbell   Dear AllI am delighted to confirm that the proposed 800 house development at Airthrey Kerse has been withdrawn from the proposed LDP by the ...
    Posted Sep 20, 2012 8:29 AM by Duncan McDougall
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