Alastair Majury — Stirling Council Update on Park of Keir

Park of Keir

Current Stirling Council update on the current Park of Keir situation.

Reproduced without comment.

“Proposed development of new tennis and golf centre, including museum and visitor centre; indoor and outdoor tennis courts; golf course with clubhouse and practice areas; hotel with leisure and conference facilities; multi-user sports pitch and outdoor play area; cycle trails and footpaths; new access roads and junction; new tree planting and landscaping; SUDS pond and associated drainage works; car parking and servicing; and enabling housing development — (PPA-390–2042)

The Council has received enquiries regarding progress with the above planning application.

The Scottish Government issued its Notice of Intention regarding the above planning appeal on 30th August 2017. That Notice stated that the Scottish Ministers were minded to grant planning permission in principle for the proposed development at Park of Keir. The Notice set out the conditions which should be attached to the grant of permission and the matters that required to be addressed by means of a planning obligation. The planning obligation requires to achieve:

· developer contributions to affordable housing and education provision in line with the council’s supplementary guidance;

· an agreement that no further residential development will be undertaken on the wider site; and

· arrangements to ensure that the sports facilities are accessible to the general public and with a pricing structure that ensures that the facilities are affordable.

Although the Scottish Ministers are intending to approve the planning application they cannot formally issue the consent notice until the relevant planning obligation is completed. The Scottish Ministers set an initial period of 3 months to enable the relevant planning obligation to be completed. Since then 3 further extensions of time have been sought and granted with a current agreed extension until 31st August 2018.

Ministers were aware that the planning obligation would take some time to negotiate and therefore stated that the 3 month period was ‘in the first instance’. It is not uncommon for negotiations on planning obligations to take some time especially when the issues under negotiation are complex or non-standard.

Significant progress has been made in agreeing the majority of the planning obligation. It is considered that, with some alterations, the negotiations on the planning obligation are nearing completion.

Stirling Council have sought to ensure that the best outcome for its residents has been achieved in these negotiations. The council is mindful that the parameters of the planning obligation have been set by the Scottish Ministers and that it is in the interests of the Council to achieve agreement on the planning obligation through a bilateral agreement rather than have a unilateral undertaking imposed. By way of explanation, a unilateral undertaking is a legal agreement proposed by the developer setting out how the matters specified in the Notice of Intention will be achieved. In such a circumstance there would be no bilateral agreement and Stirling Council would lose direct control over the content of the unilateral undertaking, and its ability to seek to protect the Council against the concerns that have been raised in respect of this planning application, and the Ministers decision.

It is therefore considered that the most appropriate outcome is to achieve consensus between the Council and the developer on all matters to be addressed through the planning obligation, which is likely to conclude within the next few months.

The Council is very mindful that local communities would wish to better understand some of the detailed nature of the discussions taking place with the developer. Given the legal and commercial matters which are being discussed, the Council is not able to share this detail as freely as it would wish. However the Council would be willing to meet with representatives from both local community councils once a final position has been reached with the developer. At that meeting the Council will share the information that it is able to. The Council will be in touch in due course.”

Alastair Majury resides locally in the historic Scottish city of Dunblane, and is a Senior Regulatory Business Analyst working across the country. Alastair Majury is also a volunteer officer at the local Boys’ Brigade company, a charity which focuses on enriching the lives of children and young people, and building a stronger community. Alastair Majury also serves on the local council (Stirling Council) as Councillor Alastair Majury where he represents the ward of Dunblane and Bridge of Allan, topping the poll.