Decision set to be made on controversial plans for housing development

Angry residents of a Kinross-shire village are stepping up their fight against a proposed housing development that they say will cause chaos.

Friday, 7th February 2020, 8:18 am
Campaigners in Milnathort.
Campaigners in Milnathort.

Springfield Properties wants to build 59 houses and eight flats on land at the Pitdownies, in the heart of Milnathort.

But opponents claim that a lack of suitable access to the proposed estate will place an unacceptable strain on the village’s ancient streets.

With 77 houses currently under construction at nearby Pace Hill, it is estimated that if the Pitdownies plan goes ahead, almost 300 extra cars will be forced to use a single access point – already a notorious bottleneck.

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Craig Williams, chairman of Milnathort and Orwell Community Council, said: “We have serious concerns about this proposed development, chiefly due to the lack of suitable access.

“All traffic will have to use Wester Loan, which is a narrow road originally built for horses and carts, and cross an old bridge over a burn.

“There are already problems at this location, and, with so much extra traffic, not only would the potential for accidents be greatly increased but also access for emergency services would be seriously compromised.”

More than 160 objections to the application have been received by Perth and Kinross Council, whose planning and development committee is due to meet on February 12.

An action group has been formed with the intention of outlining their objections at the meeting.

Opponents also say that the local schools and health centre are under severe strain and fear that the Milnathort waste water treatment plant would not be able to cope.

Local councillor Willie Robertson recently called for a moratorium on new developments amid fears that unacceptable levels of phosphates were ending up in Loch Leven, in turn creating toxic algae.

Mr Williams added: “While we are not opposed to new developments per se, this one is a development too far for our village and we intend to fight it every step of the way.”

Springfield central managing director, Peter Matthews, said: “People need homes. Our application will bring 51 private and 16 much-needed affordable homes to the area. These are designed to be in keeping with the area and highly energy efficient reducing carbon footprint and running costs for the residents.

“The construction of these homes will support the local economy with jobs and additional tax receipts for the council.”