The first batch of houses at a contentious site on the northern edge of Scone were narrowly signed off by councillors, despite questions over healthcare, pavements and flooding.
Planning permission in principle has been awarded to Perth housebuilders A&J Stephen to build 700 homes at the H29 site on the north of Scone.
Following a knife-edge vote which split the political make-up of the local authority’s planning and development management committee on Wednesday morning, permission to start construction on the first 42 houses was granted.
Of the 12 councillors able to vote, six were in favour of delaying the sign-off until a series of questions were answered and a site visit was arranged. The casting vote fell to convener Roz McCall who proceeded to approve the plans immediately.
No ward councillors voted on the decision, with only Lewis Simpson on the committee but unable to vote due to the proximity of his own house to the development.
Concerns were raised about pedestrian access, flooding and healthcare provision.
Due to around 3,000 patients from Bridge of Earn being moved to Perth surgeries next week, councillors asked if the NHS Tayside may now be more worried about the development, having failed to object to the plans. Ms McCall said she would write to the health authority.
The issue of pedestrian access to the site was raised by Scone Community Council, which gave a deputation at the meeting.
The access into the development, which will serve the 42 homes – and more as they are built – until later access points are added, is connected to the rest of Scone by roads with either no pavement or unadopted, unmaintained paths.
Furthermore, groundwater and drainage from the Cross Tay Link Road into the Cramock Burn was also queried but officers insisted the watercourse could cope.
Depute Provost Willie Wilson called for the decision to be postponed until council officers could seek more detail from council officers and NHS Tayside.
His request was narrowly defeated by councillors wishing to push ahead with the building work.
John Stephen, managing director of A&J Stephen said, “We are delighted to have received detailed planning consent for our greatly anticipated development at Mansfield Park, Scone.
“The first phase will see us build 42 homes, a combination of bungalows, semi-detached and detached homes.
“With our arrival on site imminent, we’re hoping to be marketing these properties for sale by Spring 2020, with entry by the end of next year.”