A group of North Ayrshire residents were met outside Parliament by Green MSP Ross Greer on Wednesday. The residents, from Fairlie Community Council, were in Edinburgh as part of a rally organised by the Planning Democracy campaign group, in support of the Equal Right of Appeal principle.
Equal Right of Appeal means an end to the current planning rules that allows developers the right to appeal should their planning application be rejected, but doesn’t allow the local community a right to appeal against planning permission being granted.
Ross Greer, Green MSP for the West of Scotland, commented:
“I’d like to thank everyone who came to speak to MSPs, and it was great to see those who had made the trip from Fairlie. I fully support Planning Democracy’s campaign and hope they’ll have the support of Parliament. The current planning system is unbalanced and undemocratic- the developer’s exclusive right of appeal gives them an unfair advantage over communities like in Fairlie. This causes frustration to people all around the West of Scotland.”
For more information, contact Chris Cotton, Regional Coordinator for Ross Greer MSP; 07950715293; firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear CLG member,
We are pleased to report that commissioning works on the Western Link have now reached a point where power has started to flow through the Link. The cables will transfer up to 900 MW of power across several hundred kilometres to link the transmission network in Scotland with the one in England and Wales. To enable the Link to operate at its full capacity of 2200 MW, further work is required at Hunterston and there may be times when the power flow will need to be taken out of the system. All activities are expected to be completed during 2018.
We’ve posted this information on our website and you can find it here: http://www.westernhvdclink.co.uk/news.aspx.
Project Manager, Hunterston Converter Station
Dear Fairlie Parent,
Are you worried about the safety of members of your family, especially your children, who cross the A78 Main Road, with you or on their own?
Over the last 4 years or more, Fairlie Community Council (FCC) have raised concerns about the risks Fairlie folk take crossing the A78, and Transport Scotland and Transerv have finally agreed to consider whether more safe crossing(s) should be created.
To make sure we have the best arguments, so our village gets additional crossings, (these could be islands, pedestrian crossing or traffic lights), we are asking residents to fill out a simple survey on our Fairlie Community Council website. We ask you to spend a few minutes telling us about your family’s needs, by the 17th December 2017, so we can make Fairlie a safer place to live.
You can access our survey at www.fairliecommunitycouncil.org/road-safety
Thanking you in advance
Fairlie Community Council
The A78 is a the main ‘arterial’ road that runs along the length and through the heart of Fairlie village. The Community Council is actively engaged in promoting road safety on the A78 and other issues:
- Traffic speed
- Pedestrian access
- Traffic lights
- Road width
- Traffic islands
- Road surface & potholes
- Overhanging trees
Planning application 17/01005/PP was made to increase the size of the Pacific Oyster Farm in Fairlie Bay. While broadly supportive of sustainable shellfish culture FCC objected to this application on the following grounds:oyster objection
Following recent communications with you I am disappointed that I have still not received a response to many of the issues raised.
I again had to report to the Community Council yesterday that you are ‘in discussion with Development Planning’ regarding replacing a safety road island, where primary school children need to cross a busy trunk road to attend the local school. This matter has also been raised with our local NAC Councillor Ian Murdoch who is of the impression something may be done ‘in the near future’.
You indicated that you were prepared to attend a Community Council meeting in September or October , so I now hope you or a suitable representative can attend the 2nd October 2017 meeting. The September and October dates were given to you in July, when you stated that you would look to attend one of them.
The key remaining questions for our village are:
When and where is a safety island going to be constructed to replace the one removed over one year ago?
What is going to be put in place to ensure that drivers slow down in our village as the traffic lights trial is clearly unsuccessful? The statistics actually demonstrate that the mean speed of traffic at 5 of the 12 sensor points is above 30 mph.
What are the details of ‘Additional vehicle activated speed Indicator signs will be introduced at strategic locations within the town to encourage compliance with the speed limit. These are included in the programme for construction this financial year’, which you stated in your 2nd August 2017 e mail?
What measures are going to be put in place, to slow down traffic, at the southern and northern ‘gateways’ of the village, where you stated traffic speed has increased?
Why can’t pedestrian activated traffic light crossings be installed anywhere else on the A78 within the 30 mph length?
Why can’t the 30 mph limit be extended to the roundabout at the south side of the village? Planning permission has been given for 8 additional homes, alongside the 10 homes which already have to join the A78 just outside the 30 mph section?
Why the only commitment fulfilled, of the ‘new right turning lane on the A78 trunk road at the junction with the housing development’ benefits the housing developers and through traffic more than the residents of Fairlie?
Why the culvert positioned under the A78 by the new housing development junction, that regularly floods the A78, and is Transport Scotland responsibility alongside other agencies, has not been prioritised for improvement by Transport Scotland?
What is Transport Scotland going to do to demonstrate that the real concerns of Fairlie residents regarding the safety and excessive speed of traffic travelling along the A78, within the boundaries of our village are taken seriously?
I look forward to your reply, confirmation of your attendance at our next meeting, and am also available to discuss these questions with you.
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),