Planning permission for 36 homes in Carnwath denied

Planning permission to develop a housing estate in Carnwath has been denied despite officers recommendations to approve. v.1

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The proposed site pictured from Kersewell Avenue
The proposed site pictured from Kersewell Avenue

South Lanarkshire councillors denied planning permission to build over 30 homes near Lanark. 

Elected members at today’s planning committee refused permission to build 36 homes in Carnwath due to issues with road safety despite planning officers recommending approval. 

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The application sought permission to build 36 house plots accessed directly from Kersewell Avenue which is accessed along a private road. However councillors found that there were issues with the nature of the roads and deemed that it would be unsafe to give the application the go ahead. 

At a previous planning committee meeting, the application was deferred and presented with changes today to councillors. 

Councillor  Ian McAllan (Clydesdale East), said: “There has been no progress or positive developments since this item has been discussed . There’s only clarification on some of the issues but no progress or positive developments on the crucial ones.

“I need to absolutely speak up on behalf of my constituents who since elected in 2017 have constantly and consistently complained to me and my fellow ward councillors regarding South Lanarkshire Council continuing to recommend approving a planning application for this estate.

“I know the concerns and complaints go back many years prior to me taking up this role, these complaints continue to this day.

“I’m afraid South Lanarkshire’s Council reputation among all the residents of this estate is very poor indeed, approval of this significant housing application development will result in an unprecedented low.

“My constituents have no issues about housing developments and this is absolutely not about nimbyism, it’s about complete inadequacy of the main infrastructure to this estate. Kersewell Avenue has been described as a lengthy single track farm road which has been tarred to an extent. It’s a private road and the only route into the housing estate, most of it is in a pretty dreadful state, travelling along it takes considerable time because of this despite many passing places, many residents complain of damage to vehicles.

“Many more houses will significantly add to degradation. I have reports of school buses employed by South Lanarkshire Council refusing to drive on the avenue. Residents have real concerns about fire service, ambulance and police accessing the estate rapidly in an emergency.

“On behalf of many residents of Kersewell estate who have contacted me and my fellow ward councillors and in the interest of the reputation of South Lanarkshire Council, I ask this committee to refuse this application and any further applications until the only route into the estate is brought up to an acceptable and fundamentally safe standard.”

Councillor Alex Allison (Clydesdale East), said: “I’d like to confirm that I firmly agree with both my ward colleagues and their comments, there’s a number of views that come out of this but a number of questions too.

“The concerns we really have are to do with public safety, there is roughly a kilometre worth of Kersewell Avenue where people can be walking without a pavement, without lighting, very few passing places and certainly no refuge areas at this time. At the peak travel times most of those will be in darkness in our area during the winter time, that has to indicate a safety issue.”

Planning officers recommended that councillors approve the application subject to conditions, however the proposal received 45 letters of public objections and an amendment was put forward by councillor Allison and seconded by councillor Ross Lambie to deny planning permission on the grounds of road safety. 

A total of 10 councillors voted in favour of the development with 14 voting to reject it.