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More than 150 object to Persimmon Homes’ expansion plan for Kinross estate

Part of the Lathro Meadows estate, at Lathro Farm, Kinross
Part of the Lathro Meadows estate, at Lathro Farm, Kinross

Residents are battling plans for a huge expansion of a troubled Kinross housing estate.

More than 150 people have objected to beleaguered builders Persimmon Homes’ latest proposals for nearly 200 houses at Lathro Farm.

The plans were lodged last month, just weeks after the company was forced to apologise to residents over their “illegal” new-build properties.

Persimmon won consent for its 300-home masterplan four years ago and work is well under way on the first wave of houses.

Management originally said phase two of construction would include 113 properties but its latest designs show 195.

Kinross-shire Civic Trust has argued this increase represents an “unacceptably high density of development” and breaches several policies and guidelines.

The group believes the plan should be withdrawn and a formal Environmental Impact Assessment carried out.

In a statement posted on its website, a spokesman said the scheme could lead to about 800 extra cars using the area.

“This will mean hundreds of extra vehicles passing through the residential part of Gallowhill Road, a narrow road which is often reduced to one carriageway due to parked vehicles.

“It also has very narrow pavements and is totally unsuitable for further vehicular traffic.”

The trust has also raised concerns about the scheme’s impact on nearby Loch Leven, a renowned site of special scientific interest (SSSI).

The Lathro Action Group, an organisation set up by residents to monitor the development, organised a leaflet drop to alert residents to Persimmon’s history of planning problems.

Spokesman Ken Whitcombe said: “Persimmon’s latest application can only be classed as serious overdevelopment by any normal standard and has a number of serious inbuilt flaws.

“These have the capacity to cause us even more problems at a time when we are still working hard behind the scenes to limit problems stemming from the earlier planning consents.”

Persimmon Homes previously said the increase in house numbers was intended to meet a “very obvious local demand” for smaller homes at the Lathro Farm site, rebranded by Persimmon as Lathro Meadows.

In June, Perth and Kinross Council leafleted households at the site, warning owners that their new homes were being unlawfully occupied without proper documentation in place.

Persimmon offered its “sincere apologies” to those affected, and pledged to work with the local authority to resolve the issue.

Just days earlier, the council ordered some streets around the estate to be fenced off because they had been built without consent.

Since construction began in 2017, there has been a stream of complaints from neighbours who claim the developer has broken several planning conditions.

Stephen Profili, managing director for Persimmon Homes North Scotland, said: “The revised planning application takes into account the increased demand for smaller properties in the area.

“This is reflected in recent changes to Perth and Kinross Council planning policy to provide an increased number of one and two-bedroom properties on all new development sites.”

He said: “The application is going through the routine planning process and is a matter for Perth and Kinross Council to consider.”

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