GS Brown has unveiled ambitious plans to convert a disused farm overlooking McDiarmid Park into flats.
The St Madoes-based housebuilders have sent their pre-application notice to Perth and Kinross Council’s planning department for around 75 flats at the former farm building in the city’s Tulloch area.
The formal application states the firm plans a “redevelopment of the former potato farm premises to provide private and affordable residential units totalling approximately 75 units and associated infrastructure.”
The land was previously owned by Bruce McDiarmid after which St Johnstone’s stadium is named.
The council’s second local development plan, backed by elected members, earmarks the area for between 72 and 110 homes.
However, the local authority has specified, given the location and scale of the surrounding built environment, there would be a “strong preference” for flats fronting the adjacent Crieff Road and A9/A85 Link Road.
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As a result, the council has admitted that the recommended capacity for the site is difficult to predict and the number of homes built at the farm could exceed this.
GS Brown founder and chairman Geoff Brown was at the helm at St Johnstone when the club build it’s current home, McDiarmid Park, on adjacent farmland, which was opened 30 years ago last week.
A masterplan is required, setting out the phased building of houses, along with a flood risk assessment.
Any approved bid to breathe new life into the overgrown and dilapidated farmland would need to include cycle and footpaths and an “enhancement of biodiversity.”
The proposals have been welcomed by Perth City North councillor John Rebbeck, who believes there is an urgent need for more affordable housing in his ward.
He said: “Any appropriate development at Newton Farm is to be welcomed particularly as the land and buildings have been unused and derelict for some time.
“Suitable affordable housing is much needed locally and anything that can potentially help is to be cautiously welcomed.”
The next stage of the planning process is to present the technical drawings to neighbours of the development, with information already sent to nearby community councils.
A public consultation will follow to give local residents the opportunity to view the proposals and air their views.
The drop-in session will be held at McDiarmid Park on December 10 and will run from noon to 7pm.