New homes bid turned down

Torrance. Tower Road Farm.

Torrance. Tower Road Farm.

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A controversial development which would have increased the size of a village by a fifth has been blocked by local councillors.

East Dunbartonshire’s planning board agreed unanimously to reject plans to build 140 homes on greenbelt on the outskirts of Torrance.

The application by Hallam Land Management to build houses on grazing fields within Tower Farm is contrary to the Local Plan and contrary to Scottish Planning Policy.

Councillors also heard that the increase in traffic that the proposed development would create would compromise pedestrian safety, especially around the local primary school.

They heard too, how the school does not have capacity to cope with the proposed development, how the site suffers from draining and flooding issues, and how the existing public transport arrangements couldn’t cope.

Councillor Billy Hendry, who chairs the planning board, believes the right decision was made.

He said: “This proposal would have resulted in the loss of greenbelt land and is contrary to the area’s Local Plan which seeks at every opportunity to protect our valuable green and open spaces, and secure them for future generations.

“We had 178 objections from villagers and nearby residents, concerned at the impact that the housing development would have on the local area.

“I share their concerns and I am pleased that the planning board reached the decision it did.

“If the board’s decision is appealed then I want a planning inquiry to be held in Torrance so that local people have an opportunity to be involved.”

Developers had insisted that the proposals would “answer a local need for housing”.

They also argued the proposed scheme would amount to a natural extension to the village and that there would be no “coalescence” – a merging of one community into another.

However, the community council and other opponents to the planning application said the development was too big for the area and that the road network would struggle to contain the increased traffic it would bring.