A Perthshire community has stated its case against a controversial plan to build 1,500 homes in Perth west claiming developers are “pressing ahead against the will of the people”.
Members of Methven and District Community Council met in Methven Primary School to express opposition to the revised proposal for Almond Valley, which would see ‘home zones’, a primary school, a community centre, leisure facilities and cycle routes located on 160 acres of land between Ruthvenfield and Huntingtowerfield.
A new masterplan for Almond Valley was recently lodged with Perth and Kinross Council after being put back on the table due to the Scottish Government’s local development examination report recommending it be incorporated into the adopted local plan.
The proposal was rejected by the council in December 2011, which led to a failed appeal to the Scottish Government and a public inquiry in 2012. The matter was then taken to the Court of Session, but this was refused in 2013.
Kenny Simpson, chairman of Methven and District Community Council, said residents have many concerns over the plan for Almond Valley.
“It would be fair to say the majority of local residents are opposed to the proposed development and can’t see where the jobs or people are going to come from to fill the planned 8,000 plus houses on the west of Perth,” he said.
“At the question and answer session with Savills, who are acting on behalf of developers the Pilkington Trust, locals were advised that future figures for the growth of Perth had been projected by the Scottish Government and not Perth and Kinross Council, and that Savills’ plans were a step towards filling the projected need.”
Mr Simpson continued: “Similar figures had been put forward by the Government in 1992…when we were advised that Perth required thousands of new houses and these figures never came to fruition.
“At the Q&A meeting, one resident asked why after 25 years with the local community against the proposals, the local council opposed to the plan, why were Savills pressing ahead against the will of the people and the local authority. Savills advised there was a predicted demand for housing.”
However, Jonathan Henson, head of Savills in Perth, said: “As we explained at the previous meeting, these new proposals are completely different from any previous submissions, and should be seen as part of the wider planned growth for the whole of Perth region which, according to figures from the Scottish Government’s Scottish Cities Alliance, is one of Scotland’s fastest growing cities.
“We’ve taken great care to involve the local community at every stage of the process.”
If passed, Almond Valley would see 100 homes built per year over 15 years.