AMENDMENTS to a long-standing major planning application in Tillicoultry were approved by councillors last week.

Concerns over flooding and security were raised by objectors in Kilncraigs but elected members on Clackmannanshire Council’s Planning Committee were reassured by the plans for 74 houses to be built on land east of Lower Mill Street.

Councillors were also impressed by the developer’s willingness to work with neighbours, approving changes after more than an hour of debate in the chamber last Thursday, December 5.

The original planning application was already approved in detail in 2010 and some works had commenced. However, the applicant sought to alter the interior of houses, which will all be classed as affordable, up from just 19 affordable units in the original plans.

It is understood Lower Mill Tillicoultry Ltd is working with AMP Architects and Kingdom Housing Association to bring the development about.

Concerns over flooding, potential increased surface water, security and proximity were raised by a representative of The Original Tillicoultry Allotments, which sits next to the development and is one of the oldest such organisations in Scotland.

A resident of nearby Chapelle Crescent also made representations, highlighting an ongoing problem with sewage water and properties being flooded – fearing an extra 74 properties on the local network could exacerbate the issue.

Committee chair Councillor Donald Balsillie said he was well aware of the issues in Chapelle Crescent but felt it was irrelevant to the application on the table.

Papers for the committee also noted: “This is not a material planning consideration.”

Detailed flood mitigation measures, along with a statutory agreement for maintenance, had already been approved nine years ago.

However, the developer was praised for proactively choosing to re-assess the proposals using best current methodology and modelling.

The plans are considered appropriate by both the local authority and Sepa (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency).

Councillors including Provost Tina Murphy also called on the applicant to keep working with neighbours, for instance with the allotments to address security concerns.

They also felt the development was a chance to, in fact, enhance flood protection in the area.

Documents tabled on the day added: “As noted from Sepa's response, this has been confirmed, subject to a minor change to the southwest corner of the site or introduction of a swale along the eastern boundary, which would reduce flood risk to the allotments and adjacent open space.

“The applicant has advised that these changes will be implemented.

“Therefore, whilst the current planning approval could be implemented, these new proposals provide for additional flood protection for adjoining allotments and open space.”

The actual changes to the development mean the properties will be more energy efficient and better suited for people with varying needs.