WHILE councillors rejected an application for 50 homes in Pool of Muckhart, the fight looks to be far from over.

For the morning after last Thursday's, January 23, decision developers Springfield Properties announced they would launch an appeal.

Following a lengthy meeting, elected members refused to grant permission, six to two.

The main reasons for rejection revolved around concerns that the plans went against aspects of the Clackmannanshire Local Development Plan (LDP).

Peter Matthews, central managing director at Springfield, explained the company was "disappointed" with the decision "particularly as the application had been recommended for approval by planning officials".

However, there was a high level of objections with almost half of village residents making representations and, indeed, many sat in the public gallery of the Kilncraigs chamber on the day.

Mr Matthews said: "We are seeing a worrying trend across Scotland where councillors are not taking the advice of their planning officials."

He claimed this was the third application of the company that has been refused in recent months, despite recommendations to approve, and that the government has overturned one decision to date.

The director went on to say the plans would have brought 38 private and 12 "much-needed" affordable homes to the area – the value of latter was thrown into doubt at the meeting when residents highlighted the poor public transport links in the village and, therefore, the need for a car.

Mr Matthews added: "We have taken care to design a development which is fitting for the rural location of the village and makes the most of the countryside environment with around half of the site as natural habitat.

"The development will create and sustain jobs and support economic growth."

In contrast, villagers explained on the day that the materials and elevations proposed along with the close proximity of buildings and small gardens were not sympathetic to the area.

The director took a hard line when he said: "The Scottish Government has procedures in place by which we can appeal this decision and seek the costs of doing so from the council.

"We will be going ahead with an appeal."