THE developer behind a rejected plan to build hundreds of homes to the west of Alva is set to appeal the decision.

Allan Water Homes told the Advertiser it is “confident” it will win planning permission for 244 houses by taking the case to the Scottish Government's Planning and Environmental Appeals Division.

It comes after Clackmannanshire Council's Planning Committee refused the proposal this month, citing flood risks raised through an outstanding objection from SEPA.

A lengthy debate at the committee's May 4 meeting heard from case officers, objectors and the applicants.

Ultimately, officers told the Kilncraigs chamber they did not have the confidence to recommend favourable on the site with issues around technical assessment and comparison of technical information on flooding and groundwater at the site on the western boundary of the Hillfoots village.

Some councillors, including Donald Balsillie who is an Alva resident, said they were aware of frequent instances of flooding in the area.

However, a representative for the applicants argued that a “crucial” report was not presented and that the case officer should see it.

At the meeting, Cllr Kenny Earle asked officers if they have seen said report and was told this was not the case.

Cllr Earle then said: “If we are asked to make a decision today, [we have to make that decision] based on information before us.

“Now we are hearing there is different information that may or may not exist.”

It is understood the report in question related to groundwater on the site.

A spokesperson for Allan Water Homes told the Advertiser: “Allan Water Homes is naturally disappointed at the decision but is confident that it will win planning permission at the appeal.

“It wishes to point out that a crucial groundwater report was not even presented to the flood officer, so the decision was based on out-dated information.”

As previously reported, SEPA, a statutory consultee, considered the land to be a “functional flood plain”.

A representative for the developers explained a key issue was around an access track, a core path, which serves as an “informal” flood defence.

One submission from Allan Water argued SEPA “may have misinterpreted information” regarding recent improvement works to reinforce the path following discussions.

A legal opinion submitted for the developers read: “It seems to us irrational for SEPA to suggest that works to ensure the permanence of the feature could result in a re-evaluation of SEPA’s position, only for SEPA to subsequently suggest that the Improvement Drawing that showed such works confirmed its earlier concerns.”

The concern raised by SEPA was that this serves as an informal flood defence, “which is an unacceptable situation within the context of long-term sustainable flood risk management”.