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Developers lodge golf course homes plan

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By Donald Turvill
Annan and Eskdale
Developers lodge golf course homes plan
The proposed site on Gretna'a old golf course

A PLAN to build 200 new houses on the site of Gretna’s old golf course has been officially submitted to the local authority.

The application from Alba Developments was registered with Dumfries and Galloway Council earlier this month.

The 28.5-acre site, which already has planning permission in principle, was acquired by the developers in 2019.

If granted, it would follow on from an ongoing development by Cunninghame Housing Association, who are building 200 homes across Gretna.

Alba aim to breathe new life into the golf course, which closed in 2005, with a mix of bungalows, family homes, affordable houses, open spaces and paths for walking and cycling.

But their proposals have sparked backlash from some locals who warn that the town’s water infrastructure and schools are not fit to handle an influx of new residents.

Beverley Robinson, who lives at Malor Park beside the site, said that Gretna “does not require any more housing”.

She said: “There is no employment here in Gretna, the school is not large enough for any more pupils, the doctor’s surgery cannot cope, the land in question floods during prolonged rain fall, there is a problem with water pressure and a problem with sewage.”

However, Shane Ticklepenny, managing director from Alba Developments, said: “We are excited to see things moving after having submitted the detailed planning application for our Gretna development to the council. This site will help the local area and bring much-needed family and affordable homes to the area. We are very proud of our plans at Gretna and hope it will inject new life to the village. Our investment will bring an economic boost and attract new families to the area.”

Dumfriesshire MP David Mundell commented: “In my view the developers give the impression they are taking advantage of the Covid-19 changes to the planning system to bring this proposal forward with a minimum of fuss. There are serious issues the developer has to address which cannot be appropriately dealt with through an online consultation, which is designed for urgent matters during the current emergency.”

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