Council paves the way for housing developments

Noranside prison plans.
Noranside prison plans.

Angus councillors have paved the way for two major housing developments which could see the creation of over 100 new homes in the Forfar and Kirriemuir area.

At a meeting of the local authority’s development standards committee last Tuesday, elected members gave the go-ahead for the conditional approval of 63 houses on a site located between the Arbroath and Montrose Roads in Forfar, as well as the green light for the redevelopment of the former Noranside prison at Fern.

The former includes access, landscaping and associated works along with the demolition of a property at land at Gowanbank by Gowanbank Developments LLP.

The application is recommended for conditional approval.

The site measures approximately 6.8 hectares and includes the Rosie Road path.

In a report which went to committee, it emerged Whitehills Primary School is close to capacity (currently 417 on the roll with a total capacity of 444), or an occupancy level of approximately 94 per cent.

The capacity of the school would require to be increased as a result of the development and a financial contribution of £3,000 per dwelling is requested.

The report also noted objections from Forfar Community Council on the grounds of lack of information, impact on existing septic tanks, impact on a public right of way and impact on education provision.

However, the proposed development complies with the relevant provisions of the development plan and would not result in any unacceptable impact on the amenity of the surrounding area.

There are also no material considerations that justify refusal of the application.

The application was recommended for conditional approval subject to a Section 75 Planning Obligation that a financial contribution of £3,000 per house be provided towards the cost of mitigating impact of the development on the capacity at Whitehills Primary School.

Members also considered a report for the redevelopment of Noranside Prison at Fern.

Planning permission in principle was being sought for the conversion of the former prison building to seven residential units and the redevelopment of the former prison complex, including the erection of 41 new residential units featuring affordable housing.

The application site measures 27.8 hectares and includes the former Noranside prison estate.

The site contains the listed Noranside House (category B), stable block (category C), Gardener’s Cottage (category C) and walled garden (category C).

It also contains a number of redundant buildings from the former prison estate.

The plans include the redevelopment of the stable block; redevelopment of Noranside House to form three dwellings including the removal of the rear and side extensions and internal and external fabric repairs to restore the building to a country house style of property; demolition of the cells blocks; the demolition of Edzell House, the former nurses’ accommodation and a dwelling 60 metres to its east to allow 10 new house plots and the renovations of the walled garden to allow three house plots. The Gardener’s Cottage will also be renovated.

A total of 48 housing units are proposed and the application was approved.