9th April 2012
Mr Peter Marshall,
Planning & Sustainable Development Manager,
The Environment Service (Planning),
Perth & Kinross Council,
35 Kinnoull Street,
PERTH & KINROSS (PKC) PROPOSED LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN (LDP) (JANUARY 2012)
I write in formal submission to the above document (although I will also be e-mailing copy to you by the deadline of 10th April 2012). My response has to be seen also in the context of my formal submission to your Main Issues Report (MIR) on 10th February 2011(Enc 1). Since the publication of the Proposed LDP (covering the period to 2024) I have held six well attended public meetings in Kinross-shire (Enc 4). I also referred at these meetings to my letter (Enc 2) of 1st August 2011 to Pam Ewan on the Tayplan Proposed Strategic Development Plan (2012-2032) because of its necessary consistant relationship to PKC’s LDP. There are 24 unresolved issues at Minister’s examination stage, 5 of which are outstanding from me. The other local elected members for Kinross-shire attended some of these meetings.
Following these meetings (involving significant presentations – Enc 5&6) I feel well placed to respond to the LDP as the elected member for Kinross-shire since May 1999, a constituency whose broad views, particularly from the rural areas, I have always sort to represent to PKC. Whilst clearly not agreeing with all responses to the LDP, I would endorse the submissions of Cleish, Fossoway & Portmoak Community Councils, (C.C.’s) Friends of Rural Kinross-shire (FORK) and Kinross-shire Civic Trust (KCT). You should also note that the Fossoway Community Strategy Group (SG) met on 29th March 2012 to discuss the LDP and I enclose brief notes from that meeting (Enc 3).
CHAPTER 2: VISION AND OBJECTIVES
In earlier submissions of ‘generic comment on policy’ I had felt that the MIR should state ‘at the outset’ 2 significant core values, namely that any development framework should ‘protect & enhance the amenity of existing residents and protect prime agricultural land and our scenic landscape against inappropriate development.’ I wished to see the retention of AGLV’s, called for PKC to recognise the need for major mitigation measures on the A977 (following the failed petition to the Scottish Parliament) and noted from the Kinross Community Council questionnaire a significant level of support for the restoration of a rail link through Kinross-shire. “It is hugely disappointing that only the protection and enhancement of existing residential amenity under policy RD1 adequately responds to my generic comments within this LDP”.
In response to paragraphs 4.4 to 4.8, I remain opposed to the level of growth that is used to base the plan and reiterate earlier comment on Page 2 of my MIR (Enc 1). The Single Outcome Agreement (SOA) encapsulates the administration’s vision for the future and is predicated on being pro-active within the growth agenda in order to achieve the concept of a Greater Perth and city status. We have now got this city status confirmed so why do we still need such a growth level?
CHAPTER 3 POLICIES I wish to comment on some of these, viz:
RD2 Particularly relevant to Perth City Centre! A welcome inclusion.
RD3 Presume based upon our unanimously approved 2009 Policy that I suggest should be ‘fit for purpose’. I strongly reiterate
KCT comments and need for clarity on what constitutes ‘a building group’? The new policy must be robust in light of the
potential removal of 12 settlement maps from Kinross-shire.
RD5 Although I understand the need for new sites subject to 6 criteria, I am very wary of how this policy will be used by the
agents for gypsy/travellers sites to support what is usually retrospective planning applications that result in sites
becoming established and proliferating, without adequate planning control. In Kinross-shire we currently have a
retrospective application on the edge of the settlement boundary (current & proposed) for Crook of Devon, a large number of
travellers at Gairneybridge Caravan Site (locus of a planning application that seems to have been ‘pending’ indefinitely) and
a Greenacres Site with a welcome but generous settlement boundary (apparently being extended further since the LDP was
published, before any landscape framework has been implemented).
TA1 The Plan completely fails to mention Kinross-shire under Transport & Accessibility. Both the MIR & LDP are deficient in
making no mention of the A977 or the protection of the railway line south of Kinross (Policy 46 of our Current Local
Plan) See my earlier submissions, particularly my letter of 30th June 2009 Page 6 (A977 mitigation measures) that has been
completely ignored (Enc 1b).
CF1A I am concerned that development proposals for playing fields could be permitted on sites that are deemed surplus to
requirements through a future and imminent playing field strategy; if a community have worked hard to provide a local
facility it should not be lost to them because there is provision outwith that community within a county wide strategy, I
would cite the need to protect, for example, Davis Park, Kinross and Waulkmill Park, Crook of Devon.
HE3 Covers existing conservation areas but the LDP contains no proposals for new ones in Kinross-shire. This is disappointing
given my final comment on these in my MIR (Enc 1) (page 11).
NE6 New sites of Special Scientific Interest are difficult to promote, according to SNH, but both the Crook Moss (a lowland
bog area that is slowly re-foresting) and Perth Lade should be considered for such status.
NE5 In my MIR (Enc 1) I wanted the green belt inner boundary to be much more tightly drawn to the outer ring road and the A9
west & north. The inclusion of Housing Site Proposals at H7 Berthapark & H70 Perth West now preclude this!
ER1 I note that a spatial framework for wind energy developments is to be published later. Please note my answer to Q19 in MIR
(Enc 1) Page 5. I don’t see any urgency being displayed in a definite deficiency in policy. In a letter of 18/1/12 to
Clackmannan & PKC (Enc 7), I called for a moratorium on further windfarm cluster developments in the Ochils.
ER2 is welcome and particularly relevant to Blairingone & Crook of Devon in Kinross-shire.
ER5 is not robust enough, such land should not be compromised by any development. See my Tayplan (Enc 2) on Policy 3 and
my answer to Q4 in MIR (Enc 1) Page 3.
ER6 Policy only mentions National Scenic Areas for safeguarding against development. I am dismayed that the AGLV’s that
were extended to Kinross-shire’s hill and river borders following the 2004 Plan Inquiry are to be lost from the LDP
and that no discussions have taken place into what can replace them, with guidance to be published later. The Plan
should state that AGLV’s continue until landscape protection that replaces them has been finalised, which hopefully will
include a regional park for the Ochil Hills.
EP3D Should support localised ditch and watercourse management schemes where no flood prevention scheme is in place. See
my answer to Q20 in MIR (Enc 1) Pages 5/6.
EP13 AIRFIELD SAFEGUARDING – A new policy covering the whole of PKC that I had called for is welcome and I note the
intention to use Civil Aviation Authority national guidelines with the ringed consultation zones. I also welcome the need for
independent assessment of applications for planning within such zones. I note the importance of good neighbourliness
but this must work both ways, residents need reassurance that their amenity will not be compromised by airfield
operations not following good practice and adhering to the conditions in airfield planning approvals. I have received
representation over microlight operations in the Balado & Kinross areas.
I NOTE THERE ARE 53 POLICIES IN THE LDP, a reduction for the whole PKC area of almost 50% from the current Kinross-shire Local Plan. This LDP is a huge document to absorb and I am not convinced that retention of a Kinross-shire Local Plan that I and colleagues argued for would not have been a better and more comprehensive approach.
CHAPTER 4 PKC SPATIAL STRATEGY
I agree the Tayplan Spatial Strategy and hierarchical approach in Para 2.1. In response to Para 3.8 & 3.9 please see my answers to Q1 & Q2 in MIR (Enc 1) Page 3. I am very pleased that you have resisted calls from the development sector to oppose re-allocation of the 10% housing requirement from Kinross-shire to Perthshire.
Para 3.13 and the Proposed Housing Density Ranges are vigorously opposed by me. See my answer to Q4 in MIR (Enc 1) Page 3. My comment re Policy ER5 is also relevant here. It is irrefutably the case that accepting the unsustainable level of growth in PKC’s SOA forces us to make choices between increasing housing density and the irrevocable loss of prime agricultural land as a resource, contrary to national planning policy.
CHAPTER 5 PERTH AREA SPATIAL STRATEGY
GLENFARG is within my Kinross-shire Ward Area and I would suggest, now that the Secondary School catchment area serving Arngask Primary School centres on Kinross High School from 2013, it should be part of the Kinross HMA. I understand that Glenfarg C.C. are in favour of the settlement map on Page 119, as am I.
CHAPTER 7 KINROSS-SHIRE AREA SPATIAL STRATEGY
I welcome your acceptance in 7.1 Introduction of the pressure Kinross-shire faces from the central belt of Scotland for housing and the high level of commuting outwith the area for work. I believe you accept that the previous levels of growth the shire has experienced are not sustainable and this is another reason, in addition to the environmental constraints of Lochleven, for justifying the 10% re-allocation of housing land requirement to Perthshire aforementioned.
You identify the need for 20 hectares of employment land to 2024 and then provide a table in Para 1.6 totalling 32 hectares, which I suggest is over-provision.
I was very critical in my MIR (Enc 1) Page 7 that work on the Fossoway Long-Term Development Strategy since 2004 by the community had not been mentioned but it has now belatedly been recognised in Para 1.12 and the findings have been used to inform the settlement strategies.
KINROSS & MILNATHORT
I, along with Local Councillors Baird & Robertson, remain opposed to Employment Site E17 at Turfhills, a much larger site than Site B of Map 38 in the MIR. I believe this site will be the catalyst for the eventual coalescence of Kinross with Balado, which I have always opposed as a likely precursor to the spread of Kinross west of the defensible barrier of the motorway. I note E36 includes the current PKC Environment/Roads depot and if it is to be removed from this locus, it is ‘essential’ a depot is retained within Kinross-shire for emergency flood equipment and winter gritting/ploughing plant. The employment sites east of the motorway should be developed before any consideration of those west of the motorway,now the link road has been secured.
I note that Op 13 Motor Auctions site is for mixed employment and residential use but I agree with Kinross Community Council’s decision at their meeting on 4th April 2012 that this site should be for Employment useage only.
I have noted significant opposition from residents, shared by Kinross C.C. neighbouring Housing Site H46 and concur with it; this area would be better left as community woodland and open space.
I also maintain my opposition to H47 at Lathro Farm, believing this housing site will contribute significantly to the creeping coalescence of Kinross & Milnathort that has been hastened by the relocation of PKC services within the Lochleven Campus from Kinross Town Centre.
Given my opposition to the above housing sites, it would seem that housing should regrettably be considered for Opportunity Sites 12 & 24, although the former should include a much needed car park for the town. I believe Op 10 Market Park site should remain green space.
I remain of the view that the LDP does not provide the necessary overall strategy for the rejuvenation of Kinross Town Centre. I am content that sites A, B & C from Map 31 of the MIR have not been brought forward to the LDP for Milnathort.
The above position on housing reduces the level of development in Kinross but is consistent with my opposition to the administration’s slavish acceptance of dubious growth forecasts that take no account of the economic recession; a lower and more sustainable growth plan more in line with PKC’s old structure plan would be better environmentally for the town. More housing could follow if employment sites are taken up and dependence on commuting reduced.
KINROSS-SHIRE LANDWARD AREA
I have to start by giving enormous credit to your department for being stringent in your assessment of appropriate housing sites for the landward area, when producing your MIR. There were 60 development sites put forward by that sector (Balado 8, Cleish & Blairadam 6, Fossoway 28, Gairneybridge & Hatchbank 10 & Portmoak 8 ) and widespread concern that ‘there was far more land being offered for development than could ever be justified by a realistic assessment of need’!
BALADO Map Page 212 SUPPORT
BLAIRINGONE Map Page 214 & Para 4.3 SUPPORT E22 but oppose lack of a zoned housing site which both myself, Fossoway C.C. and the SG think should have been Site B for 30 houses per Option 1 of the MIR. Conditions in Blairingone have not changed since the MIR was published inviting comment on housing site options put forward. Option 1 was the overwhelming choice of community representatives from the landward area and I fail to understand why the B1 assessment area of the SG’s map is not zoned. The only local service left in the village is the school and I have long campaigned for its retention and improvement, which such a site would assist, amongst other facilities. I am critical that Para 4.3 fails to mention the need for a by-pass for the village, referred to in Para 5.20 of our current local plan.
CARNBO Map Page 215 SUPPORT. The apparently permanent builder’s yard to the west of the village boundary should be returned to agricultural use as soon as the latest planning approval has been completed.
CLEISH Map Page 216 I fail to see the reason for a divorced settlement boundary and would refer you to Cleish C.C.’s submission on this settlement.
CROOK OF DEVON Map Page 218 I am delighted that Option 2 of the MIR covering the Naemoor Road Site for 90 houses has not been brought forward following my discussions with you in October 2011 and the long campaign by the community over many years opposed to this development. I understand there is a lot of local support for the Map you now propose.
DRUNZIE Map Page 219 SUPPORT
GLENLOMOND Map Page 220 SUPPORT
GREENACRES Map Page 221 Paragraph 10. I welcome the introduction of a settlement boundary here, albeit more generous to the north and west than I would have proposed, following representations from myself and Cleish C.C. I refer to (Enc 8 ) my letter of 4th July 2011 to planning on this matter, Nick Brian in his reply of 25th July 2011 did not address my point regarding the potential of the site having been achieved in May 2006. I also refer to my earlier comment on policy RD5 regarding current activity here.
HATTONBURN Map Page 223 I agree with KCT and fail to see why the settlement boundary needs to cross the Hattonburn road.
KELTYBRIDGE & MARYBURGH Map Page 224. SUPPORT and welcome acknowledgement in Para 12.2 that Keltybridge should not be further expanded at this time. I note that the village setting area west of Tabernacle Hall has been removed from the boundary and would hope this will prevent housing development here.
The community would still like this area to be used for car parking and visitor information on local footpaths etc. as I pointed out in my MIR (Enc 1) Page 9.
KINNESSWOOD Map Page 226 SUPPORT
OCHIL HILLS HOSPITAL Map Page 228 SUPPORT but aware of ongoing community concerns in relation to access and drainage, etc.
POWMILL Map Page 231 Site H53 Both myself, Fossoway C.C. and SG feel that the site numbers should be reduced from 120 to 90 (23 already have planning permission on north side of A977) reflecting Site B in MIR Option 2. We also cannot understand the divorce of settlement boundaries here and seek linkage of Gartwhinzean Loan to the main village as per SG’s map. An opportunity exists to improve footpath links from western end of Powmill to village centre and possibly provide a new large roundabout and new road junction to A823 on east side of site.
The SG’s map excluded an area to the north east from the settlement boundary above Powmill Farm; this area has been the subject of several planning refusals and I would like it removed from the settlement boundary.
I note that Powmill already has an employment site E23 and question the need for business land in H53. It is also felt that the inclusion of a village green and sports area per the SG’s map should be included in the LDP.
RUMBLING BRIDGE Map Page 233. I note that one of the tourist sites has been removed in this LDP, currently the subject of a proposed residential development by Thomson Homes. I understand the initial proposal for 30 houses has been scaled back to fit within the proposed settlement boundary; (R5 Assessment Area of SG’s map) I would not like to see it extended westwards at future date. Both myself, Fossoway C.C. & SG consider that the R2 assessment area of the SG’s map at Firgrove/Merryhills (current planning applications) should be included in the settlement boundary of the LDP, as in our current local plan.
SCOTLANDWELL Map Page 235 Site H54. Firstly, like Portmoak C.C. I don’t understand or agree to a divorced settlement boundary between Kilmagadwood & Scotlandwell. I expressed concern in my MIR (Enc 1) about the potential for southern expansion of the settlement boundary; at my LDP presentation in Portmoak, the developers for H54 were arguing for a larger zoned area and reduced housing density, which has merit in enabling single-storey housing. However, I note that Portmoak C.C. have suggested that the 30 houses proposed could be accommodated within the current local plan boundary, without the need for H54. If this could be done, I would favour this approach. I note that H15 of current plan has not been fully developed and H17 at Wellside is currently under construction. An open space corridor between Leslie Road and the southern settlement boundary must be retained.
WESTER BALGEDIE Map Page 237 SUPPORT
FINALLY, as noted in my comment on Policy RD3, the settlement boundaries in our current local plan at Balado Crossroads, Blairforge, Craigowmill, Cuthill Towers, Easter Balgedie, Gairney Bank, Gairneybridge/Fruix, Lochran Sidings, Mawcarse, Middleton, Netherton & Upper Tillyrie have been removed. Nine of these settlements are within the Lochleven Catchment area and in my MIR (Enc 1) answer to Q7 Page 4, I noted that settlements with less than 20 houses, except within the catchment, may lose their boundaries. I suggest small communities want some certainty as to the parameters of their settlements and I am concerned on the potential for creeping ribbon and unauthorised development in the countryside on the edge of settlements, unless Policy RD3 is robust and enforced. I can see no justification in this context for removing the settlement boundaries within the catchment, especially that for Easter Balgedie and the larger community at Gairney Bank.
APPENDIX 1 SUPPLEMENTARY GUIDANCE
I have already commented on Policies RD3 & RD4 but note Policy Guidance on Developer Contributions December 2011 incorporating Primary Education. In this context please note my e-mail to yourselves in July 2011 viz:
“I have noted that under the Planning Guidance Note of May 2009 (Primary Education & New Housing Development) any property of more than one bedroom, unless classed as affordable or sheltered housing, is subject to a significant developer contribution where the primary school catchment is at 80% capacity threshold. Whilst I am content for this to apply to developers, I am unhappy it applies for conditioned housing for essential workers in agriculture, etc. I think in these circumstances it is a draconian levy and I seek to ensure that the new guidance excludes same.”
In conclusion, I apologise for the length of this submission and fully expect you to take account of my comments written from my experience as a former Convenor of the Environment Service & Vice Convenor of Development Control. I commend this submission to you.
Councillor Mike Barnacle
Independent Member for Kinross-shire
P.S. Please let me know if you require clarity on any points or any background correspondence.
Cleish & Blairadam, Fossoway, Kinross & Portmoak Community Councils, FORK & KCT
(1) Councillor Mike Barnacle’s (MB’s) final submission of 10/2/11 on MIR for the new LDP.
(1b) Extract from Mb’s letter of 30/6/09 to Brenda Murray @ PKC re A977 Mitigation Measures.
(2) MB’s letter of 1/8/11 to Pam Ewan on Tayplan Proposal Strategic Development Plan to 2032.
(3) Notes of SG Meeting 29/3/12.
(4) Kinross Community Council Newsletter March 2012 News & Articles – Notice of Public Meetings.
(5) MB’s letter to Fossoway Residents February 2012.
(6) MB’s letter to residents of Balado, Gairneybridge, etc., March 2012.
(7) MB’s letter of 18/1/12 to Nick Brian @ PKC on Windfarm Developments in Ochil Hills.
(8) MB’s letter of 4/7/11 to Nick Brian @ PKC on Greenacres Travelling People’s Site, Blairadam