Plans to almost double the number of homes in a bitterly disputed Kinross development have been put on hold after the developer was accused of trying to sneak through the proposal.
The Kinross-shire Civic Trust has written to council bosses accusing Persimmon Homes of trying to conceal the 89 extra houses in its dealings with the local community.
However, the house builder has hit back, saying the “revised layout” for the Lathro Park scheme has been put forward after local planning policy was updated to encourage a greater number of smaller homes.
The firm initially proposed 113 homes in phase two of the development, but this has gone up to 202.
Councillors were due to consider the “density and remix” of the development last week after Persimmon tabled a Proposal of Application Notice (PoAN) but the committee was told the process cannot proceed until the complaint has been dealt with.
Eileen Thomas, secretary of the Kinross-shire Civic Trust, has written to Perth and Kinross chief executive Karen Reid accusing the builder of using “anodyne wording” in a public notice to mask a 79% increase in the number of houses proposed in the second phase.
She said it “gives the impression that the developer is merely proposing to change the house types in a development for which it already has planning permission.
“It was only evident on attending the public exhibition on 10 December that the proposal actually involves a near doubling of the number of dwellings proposed for this site.”
It is the latest round of conflict between the community and the developer, who have been at loggerheads since the development was first proposed in 2016.
This is the second formal complaint, with previous objections covering the risk of flooding, the destruction of ancient oak trees, housing density and pressure on local amenities.
The builder was also fined £300 in December for breaking council rules banning Sunday working on the site.
A Persimmon spokeswoman said: “The revised planning application we are currently preparing is to take account of recent changes to Perth and Kinross Council planning policy which require an increased number of one and two bedroom properties on all new development sites.
She said the planning application would be submitted in the coming month “and at this point members of the public will have an opportunity to review our plans again and comment if desired”.
“At our public consultation event in December we clearly showed the number of houses currently approved for phase two of the development, and our proposed revised layout, which includes a higher number of smaller properties,” she added.