Plans lodged for £30m housing development in Bo’ness

Developers AWG Property and Mactaggart & Mickel have submitted a planning application to Falkirk Council for a residential development at Crawfield Road in Bo’ness.

The exemplary development, which amounts to c. 225 houses, includes the delivery of c. 75 much-needed affordable homes, a third of the total. It is also proposed that affordable housing be prioritised for local people and housing for the disabled may also be delivered, responding to local demands.

The £30 million project will create additional local expenditure of approx. £1.5m per annum which will support 30 full-time jobs in retail, leisure, hospitality, education and other service-related businesses. 35 jobs will be created constructing the homes.

The development will incorporate significant areas of open space and landscaping, provided for the benefit of the wider community. This could potentially be used for allotments, community orchards or for sporting activities, such as trim trails and children’s play areas. An area for potential community use has also been allocated.

A variety of new paths, cycle routes and links will be created, enhancing existing residential routes to the south of Bo’ness. Proposals are also being looked at to improve the safety of Crawfield Road, with suggestions provided to the council to introduce traffic calming measures, reducing speeds and making the road safer. One of the benefits of the development will also be that existing issues with regards to flooding will be addressed through new drainage works, which will route discharges to existing burns, alleviating the current issues that are affecting Crawfield Road and the neighbouring properties.

The delivery of the site serves to address the current identified shortfall in the housing land supply within the Falkirk Council area. It was previously identified in the council’s draft Local Development Plan as being suitable for residential use and was regarded as ‘best for long-term growth of the town to address the housing requirements in the wider council area’.

Development will also see the population continue to grow steadily, supporting and maintaining existing local schools. Any impacts on local schooling, particularly primary provision, will be addressed through developer contributions in the normal way.

The submission of the planning application follows a period of extensive community engagement, which included public exhibitions held in April 2019 at Bo’ness Recreation Centre and in May 2019 at Tesco, Bo’ness.

The events highlighted support, especially from younger couples, who expressed their desire for housing and in particular affordable housing.

Feedback from the community engagement undertaken also indicated that 56% of respondents stated that there was a need for more housing in the local area and the same proportion stated that the proposed indicative layout of the development was considered acceptable. Regarding the type of housing which is needed most, the majority who responded highlighted a need for first time buyer properties (29%).

Prior to their decision to launch the proposals in March, the developers organised two informal public exhibitions in December 2018 at the Recreation Centre and Tesco.

A spokesperson for the developers, said: “We are delighted to be submitting this planning application for this £30m development following extensive community engagement.

“There is a recognised shortfall in Falkirk Council’s five-year housing land supply and a need for further housing sites to be approved, particularly when it comes to delivering affordable housing.

“This site goes some way to address the considerable demand there is in Bo’ness for more housing. Indeed, the feedback from our community engagement indicates that more than half stated that there was a need for more housing in the local area and recent sales by other housebuilders indicates that a majority of buyers are local.

“Prior to lodging a planning application we engaged extensively with the local community, ensuring that we are delivering a development that is appropriate to the housing requirements of Bo’ness.

“Our proposals will also serve to enhance the local area and address some of the outstanding issues that exist around flooding and road safety.”

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