Public consultation to be held on plans for 85 new houses in Drymen

Residents in Drymen are being invited to an event next week to give their views on a site earmarked for a major housing development in the village.

Mactaggart & Mickel, part of the Springfield Group, currently have planning permission for 85 homes in a section of land north of Gartness Road.

The site has also been allocated for residential development within the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Local Development Plan.

However, the developers say they are “looking to reduce” the number of homes to be built and are “working on proposals for high quality, energy efficient homes – including affordable”.

The proposed project still comprises residential development along with a public car park with associated landscaping, access, public toilet facilities, visitor parking and ancillary development.

They add: “The designs include a range of private and much need affordable homes as well as ample open green space and a play area.

“As part of these proposals, Mactaggart & Mickel would deliver increased car parking for the community, new pedestrian crossings and linkages, and new toilet facilities.”

The firm have now submitted a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) – a precursor to the submission of a formal planning application – to the National Park Authority.

It is holding a public consultation event on Wednesday, June 5, in Drymen Village Hall and Studio, 1 Main Street, from 2pm-7pm where people are being encouraged to come along for more information and to ask questions about the plans.

A further event is being held in the same venue on Thursday, June 27, from 2pm–7pm.

Those unable to attend the events in person can join an online event via Zoom on Thursday, June 13, from 6-7pm where they can give feedback and comment.

The earliest a formal planning application can be submitted, say park planners, is August 5 this year to allow for the pre-application consultation process to be carried out.

The application must be submitted no later than 18 months from the date the PAN was received.

The online consultation event can be accessed via a dedicated webpage: www.thespringfieldgroup.co.uk/drymenconsultation amd comments and questions can also be submitted to Springfield via email at: gartnessroad@iceniprojects.com.

Formal representations to the LLTNPA as planning authority, however, can only be made once a formal planning application has been submitted.

Plans for 88 new homes in Drymen including affordable housing were approved in 2019 by Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority.

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While there had been considerable local objection to initial plans for the site north of Gartness Road, discussions between community councillors and the developer, Mactaggart & Mickel Homes Ltd, had eventually been fruitful and 30 of the 44 affordable homes were expected to be owned and managed by Rural Stirling Housing Association.

Drymen Community Council had initially objected to plans for a 101 and 95 unit scheme on the basis of scale of development and impact on village infrastructure and services.

However direct consultation between the applicant and the reformed community council had resulted in amended plans for the 88 houses being submitted and the community council’s objection was withdrawn.

A total of 44 representations had been received to development of the site from 34 contributors, with 35 of these relating to the 101 or 95 house schemes which included 29 (from 24 contributors) in objection, four in support and two neutral.

Nine representations were received in relation to the 88-unit proposal, five of which were from contributors who maintained their previous objection and four which were new objections.

Those supporting the bid had cited new access paths, low cost housing for first time buyers allowing young people to stay in Drymen, a housing mix catering for a range of household sizes, helping economic viability of local businesses and addressing a lack of affordable housing as being benefits.

Objectors, however, had raised concerns about pressure being placed on local services including Drymen Primary School, health centre, dental practice and sewage.

They also had issues with potential impact on wildlife, traffic and road safety, loss of vegetation and poor design.