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Homes plan comes with an extra £700k bill

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
Dumfries and West
Homes plan comes with an extra £700k bill

A HOUSING association will be landed with a £700,000 bill to pay for education costs if a huge housing development goes ahead in Locharbriggs.

Ambitious proposals to transform the former Currie European trucking depot into a residential and shopping development are under consideration by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

Registered social landlord Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) is planning to build 89 homes, a large retail unit, and a warehouse across a five acre site split by the A701 Edinburgh Road.

Permission was first approved by the council in May 2018, and then extended to 2024 to allow the proposals to be developed.

The matter will come before the council’s planning committee again next Wednesday, where councillors are being asked to approve specific conditions on layout, design, external appearance and landscaping.

However, a planning report also states that DGHP would be expected to stump up £706,257 to pay for anticipated school and nursery costs.

It reads: “The proposed development sits within the catchment area for Heathhall Primary School and nursery.

“Both the primary and nursery are above 90 percent (capacity) so a contribution would be sought for both.

“The current likelihood table details the contribution per dwelling at £6,543.48 for the primary and £1,392 for the Nursery, as such we would anticipate a required contribution of £7,935.48 per dwelling.

“A cumulative contribution for 89 dwellinghouses would total £706,257.72.”

The planning application states that the eastern portion of the site, which was the truck and trailer park for Currie European, would be for the residential properties. At least 20 percent of the properties would be allocated as affordable housing.

The smaller 1.5-hectare section on the opposite side of the road, next to a car showroom, would house a 1,000 sq m retail unit that could be sub-divided and a 1,000 sq m warehouse.

Council planning officer Chris McTier described the development plans as a “strategic priority” for meeting the council’s housing aims, adding: “It will meet the housing needs of a range of people in the Dumfries housing market Area, and delivery of this will be supported through the Scottish Government’s Affordable Housing Supply Programme.”

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