Appeal lodged over refusal of controversial A9 roadside services development at Balhaldie
Developer appeals to Scottish Government, pointing to an ‘electric highway’ along the A9 and transition to electric vehicles
Developers behind a controversial roadside services development scheme, rejected by Stirling councillors last year, have lodged an appeal with the Scottish Government.
GB Grove Ltd’s plans – for a filling station, HGV truck stop, amenity building with rest area, toilet and shower facilities and two units for use as a cafe and/or restaurant on land 500 metres south west of Balhaldie – had been conditionally approved in August 2020.
But opponents lodged a legal challenge against the decision which Stirling Council chose not to contest.
The proposal was returned to the council to be considered afresh and, at a meeting in September, it was unanimously refused by the planning panel
Last month GB Grove lodged an appeal against the decision to refuse the application. An appeal statement submitted by agents Graham and Sibbald points out that the planning application had complied with applicable policy and there had been no objections from statutory consultees. It continues: ‘In addition, the development will deliver economic benefits and meets the requirement for additional truck stop facilities within the Tayside area. The proposal will also support the creation of an ‘electric highway’ along the A9 and transition to electric vehicles. ‘All of which are material considerations in support of the proposed development.
Objector Jo McDonald, of nearby Glassingall, had said previously that the application had “united our community” with concerns over road safety and the potential impact on local businesses who may miss out on trade. She cited cases of accidents at that section of the carriageway, including a fatality. “This is already the most dangerous stretch of the A9 between Stirling and Dunkeld,” she added. The impact on the Sheriffmuir battlesite was also a local concern, plus any jobs created would be minimum wage and would have to be accessed by car, said Ms McDonald.
Dunblane and Bridge of Allan councillor Alasdair Tollemache said this week: “This is an unwelcome development which the community oppose as does the community council.
“There is a big concern over road safety being a development adjacent to the A9. “I will be writing to the DPEA detailing my objections to this development. “This is yet another local example of the right of developers to appeal planning decisions which the local community does not have. There is an urgent need to change planning legislation and have a proper, fair, planning system.”
For earlier articles about this proposed development - search Balhaldie