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44 new social homes for Dumfries

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
44 new social homes for Dumfries

A HOUSING development that will bring 44 new social homes to Dumfries was approved last week.

Wheatley Homes South was given the green light to build a mix of two to five-bedroom semi-detached and terraced houses, along with cottage flats, on land at College Mains, College Road.

While the development will help ease the housing emergency crippling the region at the moment, dozens of local residents were unhappy over the development designs.

The planning application came before Dumfries and Galloway Council’s planning committee last Wednesday.

Local householder Ellie Gill said that she and 38 others in the area were raising objections, primarily due to road access issues around their small estate.

She told the committee: “There are no pavements, there is no safe space for more traffic coming through that area than there already is.

“So, we’re objecting on the basis that we would like a different access to the social housing. We fully support new social housing, we’re 100 percent behind that, but it’s the access road via Maryholm Street that we’re objecting to.

“And we’d look for Wheatley to have another way of accessing, rather than coming through an existing estate where there are no pavements to safely walk on.”

Objector John Howell submitted a letter and stated that he was “concerned” no council roads officer had commented on the developer’s plan to use a cycle path for emergency vehicle access.

He added: “The report appears to be dismissive of the objections submitted by members of the public, with hardly any discussion of the issues and concerns raised.

“The objections I submitted were with the aim of achieving a better development, more in line with the council’s policies and objectives, rather than an objector to the overall development.”

Planning permission “in principle” for the erection of a residential development on the site was approved by the council’s planning applications committee in February 2021.

Last week’s meeting was the final hurdle before construction plans are progressed by Wheatley Homes South.

Nadine Paterson and Chris Howatt, of MAST Architects, spoke about the development proposals at the committee on behalf of Wheatley.

Nadine said: “Following submission of the planning application, we received comments from the local community on our proposals.

“One key theme which was evident as part of the feedback was, as you’ve heard today, road safety and increased traffic that this proposed development may bring.

“As a result of this, we commissioned an independent road safety audit. The recommendations from this audit were adopted and have been included within our proposals.

“The development also benefits from being in close proximity to the national cycle route seven, and connectivity to this has been prioritised, with the link between the two sections of the site designed for both cyclists and pedestrians.”

Nith Councillor John Campbell tabled a motion for the housing bid to be approved because the council roads officer had no objections and the development ties in with the aim of the council’s local development plan.

This was seconded by Annandale South Councillor Ian Carruthers, and then ultimately agreed by the committee.

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