“Encouraging” response to proposals

Stewart McPhail (left), Muir Group's development director, explains elements of the company's design concept.
Stewart McPhail (left), Muir Group's development director, explains elements of the company's design concept.

The public reaction to development proposals for the Westfield area has so far been “encouraging”, according to the companies behind the scheme.

Scotia Homes and The Muir Group mounted a two-day exhibition in the Reid Hall last Wednesday and Thursday to show more detail of their concept for the area near Orchardbank, to the west of the existing houses.

Joe Noble, from the Muir Group, said that local people had taken the opportunity to go along, view the preliminary proposals and make their own suggestions on the scheme.

He said: “The purpose has been very much to get the feeling of the wider community and that’s definitely taken place.

“The comments have been mainly supportive, with no real negative comment. Because of the site’s history, this hasn’t come out of left field and has been more about the detail.”

The companies have already lodged a Proposal of Application Notice with Angus Council and, if granted planning consent, the project would be a master plan-led development with an emphasis on sustainability. The intention is to create a green network linking the site to Forfar Loch and the town

The area around Orchardbank has been identified by the council in its local development plan, which is currently under revision, as one of the locations suitable to meet demand for local housing both in the short and long term.

Located at one of the town’s main gateways, the companies have said the site will provide the opportunity to create a development that would enhance the entrance to Forfar and make the most of good local transport links.

Mr Noble also said that one of the concerns raised, by Forfar community councillors, was the need for affordable housing in the town, especially for young people.

He continued: “This site was recommended in the last local plan but was overturned by the Government reporter, but it has a good planning history and we hope it will have some degree of planning allocation.

“We had some suggestions about affordable housing, which will be approximately one in four but the discussion has been about what form that will take. The community needs housing to ensure a long-term, sustainable future and we believe that this site can provide that.”