More housing for Kirriemuir?

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PLANS TO bring a new housing development to Kirriemuir have been recommended for conditional approval.

At a meeting on Tuesday, April 3, just as the Dispatch went to press, councillors were discussing the Guild Homes (Tayside) Ltd. plans to build 33 houses at Cortachy Road.

The development will be directly adjacent to the existing Hillhead housing site with a single road for access.

Housing will consist of both single and one-and-a-half storey houses. They will be identical in design to the houses already situated at Hillhead.

In addition to the houses there will be two areas of open space of about 2,000 square metres.

Following a consultation in May last year there was a mostly positive response from locals who attended a display about the development.

In the Planning, Design and Access Statement (PDAS) the developers stated that there is an undersupply for housing land in the area. Therefore the site, which is currently unused hardstanding attached to an automotive business, meets the criteria for housing.

Angus Council have received just one letter of representation which came from a householder at Hillhead.

The letter does not object to the proposal itself but has requested that the house built closest to their own is kept to a single storey.

Eric Lowson, director of infrastructure services, said: “It is understood that the site was most recently used for vehicle storage for the commercial premises to the north. It currently carries the appearance of a vacant or at least under used brownfield site which contains a large area of compacted hardcore.

“There is an industrial shed within the site and supporting information indicates that while the building is still in use to a limited extent, the hardstanding has been largely vacant since 2008.”

He continued: “The site is reasonably well screened and as such does not cause any significant or adverse amenity issues for adjacent residents.

“The removal of the industrial building and littered hardstanding would make a reasonably significant contribution to regeneration and renewal and tidy up this area with a new land use.”

As stated the houses will be built around two areas of open space which will measure 100 square metres each. The houses will overlook these areas to provide “natural surveillance”. The areas will also provide a spacious feel to the development and provide extra useable space for residents.

In relation to impact on existing households the developers will make sure to leave sufficient space between the rear of the properties containing overlooking storey’s and existing households.

Mr Lowson said: “Some existing properties benefit from being screened by existing planting and this will be retained where possible.”

The development will also coincide with the Angus Council initiative to provide affordable housing. With 15 per cent of new build housing within Forfar, Kirriemuir and the Glens, to be earmarked affordable this means five of the 33 houses here will be set aside.

Mr Lowson said: “The applicant has entered into dialogue with the head of housing and it is understood that a flexible approach had been agreed whereby properties would be offered for sale over a six month period to qualifying households.

“Thereafter, any unsold properties remaining would be replaced by a commuted payment towards offside provision and the plots could be sold on the open market without restriction.”

Mr Lowson concluded: “The application must be determined in accordance with the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

“While the site is not specifically allocated for housing, its development would be compatible with the local plan strategy which allows unallocated sites to come forward where they involve regeneration and renewal.

“I am satisfied that the proposal ios in accordance with the development plan”