A CONTROVERSIAL proposal to build 50 homes in Muckhart is expected to get the green light despite being rejected by Clacks councillors.

Housebuilder Springfield Properties appealed January's decision and the Scottish Government Reporter has stated his intention to now grant planning permission.

Muckhart Community Council has been left "dismayed and angered" by the news.

Chair John Anderson said: "The people of Muckhart deserve better, particularly given their interest in and involvement with the development planning process over many years and this planning application in particular.

"As we move forward, we trust that there will no longer be a deficit in local democracy and that Muckhart Community Council and the wider community will be listened to and able to make a positive contribution to any development."

Elected members on the Clackmannanshire Council planning committee previously voted down the proposals by six votes to two, citing concerns that the plans went against aspects of the Clackmannanshire Local Development Plan (LDP) as one of the key reasons for rejection.

There were also objections from the elected members in the ward, Muckhart Community Council and residents.

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

He told the Advertiser in January that the firm would appeal the vote and on Wednesday last week, the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division of the Scottish Government (DPEA) issued a Notice of Intention with Robert Huntley, the reporter on the case, announcing his intention to grant planning permission.

In the report's conclusion, he stated: "Site H49, of which the appeal site forms part, is identified for housing development in the local development plan.

"The principle of residential development at the site is therefore wholly consistent with adopted policy.

"Although the LDP makes reference to 35 dwellings, it does not indicate that this number is to be regarded as prescriptive or a maximum not to be exceeded.

"Any greater effects arising from an increase in the number of dwellings would not be such as to render the development unacceptable.

"There would be no harm caused to the fabric or settings of nearby listed buildings, nor to the character of the Muckhart Conservation Area, all of which would be preserved.

"The appeal proposal would achieve suitably high design standards and would contribute to sustainable development, consistent with the principles advocated in Scottish Planning Policy."

Mr Huntley concluded that the proposed application meets the development plan requirements and there are "no material considerations" that would justify refusing the submission.

The reported added: "I have considered all the other matters raised, but there are none which would lead me to alter my conclusions."