Dear Mr Miller (Head of NAC Planning),
As Head of NAC Planning, Fairlie Community Council request that you take the following issues in to account when making your recommendations to the Planning Committee on the 20th September 2017, regarding the application from Dawn Homes for the next stages of their housing development in our village.
Not only are there so many detailed concerns regarding the design of the Phases 2 and 3 which have also been submitted by us on behalf of Fairlie residents, but Dawn Homes have clearly failed to meet the planning conditions required to be fulfilled by the conclusion of Phase One construction.
We therefore ask that the Planning Committee deny planning permission for the next phases until Phase One conditions are met, and that anomalies regarding RES3 conditions are fully investigated.
Due to the RES3 condition very few ‘community benefits’ will be received by Fairlie residents.
Fairlie Community Council and local residents are therefore asking why NAC are not holding Dawn Homes to these planning conditions before even considering whether to give planning permission for the next phase.
The Phase One, original Planning Conditions not met are:-
- School access path
This path has not been constructed due to the developers’ mismanagement of their site at best, or planned avoidance of responsibilities at worst. If Dawn Homes had located their materials yard and temporary offices anywhere else on the site, then the path, which would free young school children from walking alongside the A78 could have been completed as required. Instead Dawn Homes are attempting to push this path construction back to some point in the next phases of construction.
- Children’s play area
Again, a small benefit, but one that becomes more important to our community due to the closure of NAC funded play areas earlier this year.
This is not going to be completed as required, again because of the mismanagement of the site. The play area can only be constructed once all the houses nearby are complete.
Dawn Homes could easily have constructed the houses in a different order to enable this to happen, yet they chose to build the houses closest to the play area site last.
- Removal of planned affordable flats and extension of ‘temporary SUDs pond’.
Dawn Homes started to develop knowing that the site had insufficient drainage due to the insufficient capacity of the drainage culvert under the A78. So, not surprisingly the temporary SUDs pond will have to remain until three external agencies, (Transport Scotland, Network Rail and NAC), somehow find funding in the same financial year, to put a large drainage culvert under a trunk road in a small village. In the mean time the village will continue to have a potentially hazardous and very unsightly ‘pond’ near family homes.
The need for affordable housing on the ‘west coast’ means that most housing developments have to provide affordable homes, yet due to the RES3 conditions this is not the case for Dawn Homes. The affordable flats planned to be constructed where the temporary SUDs pond is currently positioned, have just simply been removed from the plans with no challenge from NAC. Even if the SUDs pond is removed, the affordable homes are extremely unlikely to be built.
We recognise that the NAC Planning Department have suggested Dawn Homes talks to Cunnighame Housing to see if flats may be viable, but this is so tenuous it is of no value to local residents or their families, hoping to benefit from such an opportunity.
- RES3 Anomalies
- ‘Trust Management’
Despite several requests for transparency the minutes and decisions of the trust are not available.
There is also a RES3 condition that funding for Kelburn Castle maintenance and conservation cannot be sourced elsewhere. Have Kelburn Estate really not received grants from other sources?
- Cost Plan accounting
The cost plan dated 11/01/2013 stated an anticipated community benefit to Kelburn Estate as £1,912,463. The Section 75 cost plan has replaced this with a ‘Total Land Value’ in the sum of £1,134,092. This results in a loss of £778,371 to the original RES3 community benefit surplus. Yet the Dawn Homes’ Development Return Allowance in 2013 was £2,102,108, and in the Section 75 cost plan this has increased to £3,050,434. This results in an increase in the developer’s profit of £948,326.
Without visibility of the accounts and who is being paid what under Policy RES3, how can NAC have confidence that the developers have fully complied with Criterion 6 ‘excess profit’?
Not only are village residents not benefiting from the Dawn Homes development but the planned recipients are also clearly losing out.
It seems that so far NAC have not challenged these anomalies.
Fairlie Community Council and Fairlie residents are not confident that NAC have held Dawn Homes to account for any of the unfulfilled planning conditions that matter to our village.
It seems that NAC departments are not ‘joined up’. When recently asked, the Planning Department immediately stated that RES3 conditions are not theirs to monitor but probably Legal Compliance, and that the Flooding Engineer deals with the SUDs pond and flooding issues. If internal departments are not working together how can NAC residents have confidence that their interests are being appropriately managed?
Surely Dawn Homes can be held accountable for the Phase One planning conditions before further development is permitted?
For and on behalf of Fairlie Community Council (FCC),