DEVELOPERS eyeing up land near Dollar have been advised to cap the number of houses they want to build.

Councillors on Clackmannanshire Council’s planning committee agreed to grant planning permission in principle on Tuesday for two sites – known as Dollar South and Dollar East – but urged those behind the proposals to keep the cumulative total at 350 units, plus or minus 10 per cent.

That would keep the numbers close to the 350 figure outlined in the council’s Local Development Plan for the town, and also in line with the wishes of both Dollar Community Council and the Dollar Community Development Trust who have concerns about the blueprints and want to keep the house numbers proposed at a manageable level.

Cowden Farming Company and Dollar Academy’s application for Dollar South indicatively catered for between 200 and 260 homes, while Harviestoun’s plans for Dollar East ranged from 170 to 190.

However, the planning committee was unhappy at the prospect of 450 new homes across both sites and decided to put a caveat on the planning permissions in principle approved.   

Committee convener Cllr Donald Balsillie said he felt the decisions should mark the start of a period of all parties working together – along with the community – to shape the best solution for the area.

He said: “It’s still my desire that both landowners work together, particularly in the phasing of the development and unlocking the community benefit.

“I think it’s been a long journey to get to this point, but it’s really just the start of the journey.

“There’s lessons to be learned all round and I’d like to thank everybody for their continued engagement.

“It is a long process, but I’m sure we’ll get there in the end and deliver both the quality mixed tenure and community benefits we’re after.”

The application for Dollar South, which comprises Dollarfield West, Dollarfield East and Newfield, will see a mixed use development including residential, employment, commercial and community uses, as well as a sports hall, sports pitches and running track.

Meanwhile, the Dollar East plan, which covers more than 34 hectares of land to the south and east of the town, includes a mixed use development of homes, open space, landscaping and accesses from the A91 Muckhart Road, as well as a retail site on the south side of the A91.

Derek McDonald, speaking on behalf of Dollar Community Council and Dollar Community Development Trust, highlighted a range of concerns expressed by local residents about the cumulative effect of the plans.

Indeed, he suggested it could be “pandemonium” for health services and school places in and around Dollar and urged the community to be closely involved with both applications as they move forward.

Council leader Ellen Forson echoed those sentiments, and noted that NHS Forth Valley has said Dollar Health Centre does not currently have the capacity to accommodate the additional patients that would arise from the proposed number of houses.

“These applications cannot be taken in isolation,” she added.

“We, as a planning authority, recognised and were in agreement that 350 houses were a compromise, and we have a duty to try and keep to that as much as possible.

“We also need to get some constructive dialogue with the health board because we cannot have a town the size of Dollar unable to access medical services.”

With planning consent in principle secured, more detailed applications are now expected to come forward for further consideration by the planning committee later this year.