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Opponents of a Bridge of Allan housing development on greenbelt land are mobilising in advance of the submission of a planning application.

Their concerns include the impact of the scheme – comprising around 40 homes and 30 flats – on the adjacent Darn Walk, a popular walking route which links Bridge of Allan and Dunblane.

Allanwater Homes has already submitted a pre-application Proposal of Application Notice to Stirling Council for the project on grassland bounded by the Darn Walk, Blairforkie Drive and Fishers Green.

The developer has described the scheme as ‘the next generation’ of housing growth in the town. Allanwater Homes’ indicative proposal stated that ‘the concept is for a sustainable development of approximately 40 homes and a flatted block of over three storeys with combined cottage flats, providing in the region of 30 flatted dwellings, set within the lower portion of the site to mitigate the height of the block to maintain views’.

Residents living near the site have already expressed concerns about the potential environmental impact as well as increased road traffic and pressures on infrastructure when the scheme emerged at the end of last year.

A leaflet is currently circulating in the town points to the site’s proximity to a Site of Special Scientific Interest as well as the potential for additional traffic in the area.

The leaflet states: ‘As a concerned group of local residents (well over 100 households) we are working to resist any development of this site.

‘In due course a planning application will be lodged by the developer. Help us to protect this area of outstanding natural beauty.’

Ferniebank Brae resident Brian Park, who put the leaflet together, said this week: “The group is now over 150 households and increasing.

“A large number of people use the Darn Walk linking Bridge of Allan and Dunblane. It is an important and valued recreational and environmental asset. If this scheme were to go ahead it would have a significant impact on the Darn Walk.”

Dunblane and Bridge of Allan councillor Alasdair Tollemache said this week: “Many residents have approached me with their concerns over the proposed development.

“These concerns cover the Blairforkie area not coping with the increase in traffic and local services being overwhelmed.

“It is greenbelt land and there will be a loss of local biodiversity. There are increasing populations of bats and red squirrels in the area. The historical character of the Darn Walk would be destroyed.”

Allanwater Homes said in a statement this week: “The proposed development has been designed to take account of the physical characteristics and constraints of the site as well as the wider character of the area, including the adjacent SSSI.

“The final proposals will seek to improve the Darn Walk making it more accessible for users …it will be distinctive, welcoming, adaptable, resource efficient, safe and pleasant and easy to move around and beyond.”

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