NHS boss warns against building at Scone before new Tay Crossing

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Dr Drew Walker

The head of public health in Tayside has urged council bosses not to allow controversial new housing at Scone until  a new cross-Tay bridge has been built.

The area’s NHS chief Drew Walker has lodged a formal objection to plans for 700 homes on the edge of the Perthshire village.

Construction firm A&J Stephen hopes to transform acres of farmland behind Spoutwells Drive and Angus Road.

If needed, a new primary school could also be built.

It was originally understood that the full development could not go ahead until the £113 million Cross Tay Link Road (CLTR), connecting the village with the A9, south of Luncarty, was in place.

However, because the CTLR bridge has now been listed as a “committed project” by Perth and Kinross Council, objectors fear all 700 properties could be built before the crossing is completed.

Opponents say this will lead to major traffic and pollution problems in an already heavily congested area.

In his letter to planners, Mr Walker states: “Air pollution above the air quality objective values is harmful to health and I am aware that the air quality in the Bridgend area of Perth exceeds the air quality objectives.”

Noting the “good work” under way to encourage people to adopt alternative forms of travel, Mr Walker said: “Whilst these are worthwhile and will improve health both through reducing air pollution and increasing the uptake of active travel options, they cannot alone reduce air pollution levels if increases in traffic volume is predicted.

“I would support the proposal to seek assurances that no further developments will go ahead before the CTLR is built.”

Community councillors have called a public meeting to let locals inspect the plans.

The event will be held at the Robert Douglas Memorial Institute on Thursday, January 19 from 7.30pm.

Secretary Hazel Mackinnon said: “The purpose of the meeting is to further inform local residents about the A & J Stephen housing proposals for North Scone.

“Planning materials, including drainage and flood risk assessments, environmental studies and  transport assessments will be on display.

“Members of the community council and the North Scone Study group will be available to assist with questions relating to making relevant and useful comments  on aspects of the planning application and how to make these comments, online or otherwise, before the February 3 deadline.”

The group has also launched a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for an expert to thoroughly analysis Stephen’s 1,300-page application.

A&J Stephen has declined to comment.

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