LANDOWNERS have been told to sit around the table with community representatives to thrash out issues around their expansion plans for Dollar.

A mammoth meeting of Clackmannanshire Council's Planning Committee last week heard an update on two separate proposals that could change the face of the town.

Dubbed the Dollar east development, applicants Harviestoun Estate are seeking to utilise land to the south and east of Dollar to build residential and retail units, create open space, a community garden and more.

Known as the Dollar south proposals, Cowden Farming Company and Dollar Academy are keen to create a sports facility with an indoor hall, pitches, a running track and playing fields on land south of the town.

This would be supported by a residential and commercial development.

The meeting last Thursday, April 1, heard representations from agents acting on behalf of the three parties as well as from Dollar Community Council and Dollar Community Development Trust.

Key issues around the number of proposed houses, totalling more than the 350 set out in the Local Development Plan, education and healthcare provision, traffic, flooding, the future of Dollar Hive and more were discussed.

Councillors wondered why the developers have not come together to submit a joint application.

Derek McDonald from Dollar Community Council, told the meeting the two developments combined would have a "massive impact".

He said: "The other difficulty is that to this point, those two developers – and I don't think I'm out of turn saying this – are not desperately keen on working together, they have had their difficulties as well and that has meant that we've been dealing with two separate entities."

An agent representing Cowden Farming Co later told the meeting that issues between the parties stemmed from the academy looking to acquire land for the sports facilities

He said: "[Dollar Academy] were due to be acquiring land from both my client, Cowden Farming Co, and from Harviestoun.

"But Harviestoun refused to allow them to buy the land, they would only rent the land to them and that was seen to be too significant a risk in terms of the level of investment involved.

"That then resulted in what was, originally, a single planning permission in principle application becoming the two that are in front of you today."

Planning officers asked councillors to be "minded to approve" both applications in what would not have been a final determination.

Many elected members were uncomfortable using that language due to the number of outstanding issues.

An amendment instead deferred the decision on both and instructed officers to work with all parties involved.

Cllr Martha Benny said: "We are going around in circles – one's saying one thing, one's saying another and everybody's on different levels.

"Discussions need to be taken," she added. "I think everybody needs to get round the table, act like grown-ups and just thrash it out because every single person in this meeting wants the best thing for Dollar."

The elected member then concluded that "the last thing we want is for nothing to happen".