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Powmill

Development Framework Report

Representations to Perth & Kinross MIR

On behalf of

January 2011
Prepared by :

The Quadrant
17 Bernard Street
Leith
Edinburgh
EH6 6PW

[t] 0131 553 3639


[f] 0131 554 1850

[e] info@geddesconsulting.com
[w] www.geddesconsulting.com

Document Control and Approval

Revision Status Prepared Approved Date


Version 1.0 Draft for 31/08/10
Comment
Version 2.0 Draft for 30/11/10
Comment
Version 3.0 Final 14/01/11

All mapping in this report is:


Crown Copyright. All rights reserved. 2011 License Number 0100031673

2 Powmill
January 2011 Development Framework Report
Contents
1 Introduction
1.1 Thomson Homes
1.2 Sustainable Powmill

2 Community Engagement
2.1 Community Engagement Process
2.2 Fossoway Community Strategy Group
2.3 Public Exhibitions
2.4 Interactive Community Engagement Event
2.5 Feedback and Consensus from Community Engagement

3 Planning
3.1 Planning Applications
3.2 Approved Development Plan
3.3 Emerging Development Plan - TAYplan
3.4 Emerging Development Plan - Perth & Kinross MIR

4 Sustainable Growth in Landward Area


4.1 Housing Need and Demand in Kinross HMA
4.2 Compliance with SPP
4.3 Sustainable Development in the Landward area
4.4 Employment Requirements
4.5 Other Land Uses
4.6 Conclusions on Scale of Growth for Powmill

5 Analysis
5.1 Overview
5.2 Local Authority Landscape Appraisal
5.3 Amenities & Movement
5.4 Settlement Appraisal
5.5 Site Appraisal
5.6 Ecology Assessment
5.7 Infrastructure and Services
5.8 Flooding

6 The Proposal
6.1 Masterplanning Principles
6.2 Concept
6.3 The Proposal

7 Recommendations
7.1 Community Support
7.2 Recommendations for Proposed Plan

Annex 1 - Sustainable Development Policy


Annex 2 - Site Effectiveness

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Development Framework Report January 2011
Potential development sites at Powmill

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January 2011 Development Framework Report
Introduction 1
1.1 Thomson Homes

Thomson Homes is a family owned housebuilder, who has quickly established


a reputation for quality and excellent design. Currently they are building in
the Kinross and Perthshire Areas.

Thomson Homes is committed to building housing developments which


respect the urban character of the locality and fully integrate into the fabric
of the local community.

Thomson Homes fully supports the ‘place making’ agenda presented by


Scottish Government, and is committed to working with Perth and Kinross
Council to deliver quality places, and adding to the sustainability of local
communities.

A key part of the creation of the development strategy for Powmill has been
in engaging with the community. Several community engagement events
have been held to facilitate the sharing of ideas and build consensus about
the future for Powmill.

The development proposal presented in this Report reflects the feedback


from the community and its consensus on scale and content of future
development.
1.2 Sustainable Powmill
Thomson Homes recognises the inherent strengths in Powmill and is
seeking to promote an expansion to revitalise the village by making it a
more sustainable, diverse, integrated and attractive place to live.

Thomson Homes controls over 25 hectares of land to the east, south and
west of the village.

This area has the potential to accommodate up to 300 homes, a primary


school, areas of employment and services, set within an attractive greenspace
framework.

Representations were made to the Perth & Kinross LDP pre Main Issues
Report Consultation identifying the potential for this scale of development
together with a series of public consultation events.

Discussions have taken place with Planning, Roads and Education


Departments in Perth & Kinross Council.

Technical Assessments have been undertaken covering transportation,


local services, ecology, landscape capacity, drainage, sustainability and
infrastructure.

The outcomes of this process, in particular the public consultation, have


been taken into account in refining the proposals for Powmill.

This Development Framework Report presents a robust and deliverable


proposal which can be supported by the community and integrates with
the Council’s wider development strategy.

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Development Framework Report January 2011
2 Community Engagement
2.1 Community engagement process

Thomson Homes has had a full and open dialogue with the community of
Powmill, in line with advice in PAN 3/2010 Community Engagement.

To date, two public exhibitions and one interactive community event have
been held to discuss and refine the proposals for Powmill. These events were
held in addition to attendance at Community Council meetings throughout
2010.

Through engaging with the community, Thomson Homes is seeking to build


confidence with existing residents about the development process and what
it can deliver.

It is evident from the various community engagement events held, that there
is a clear connection between uncertainty about the development process
and opposition to the initial but potential scale of growth proposed for the
village. Concerns are linked to the disruption from the construction process
and a fear that the changes will erode the qualities of village life which
residents value.

The engagement process has helped develop a consensus on the


improvements to the village which residents feel are necessary. This has
clarified that incremental small scale development, such as has happened
within Powmill over the last thirty years does not deliver any tangible benefits
to the community. The connection between scale development and benefits
arising has allowed a consensus to be reached on an appropriate scale of
development.

The engagement process has therefore been invaluable in providing a forum


for discussion with the community. From this engagement process, ideas
have been tested and consensus has been reached. This Report outlines the
appropriate way forward for the sustainable expansion of Powmill which
now reflects community needs and aspirations.

2.2 Fossoway Community Strategy Group

As part of the wider community engagement process, the Fossoway


Community Strategy Group (FCSG) prepared Representations to the Perth &
Kinross Local Development Plan (LDP). The submission of these Representations
pre-date the community engagement undertaken by Thomson Homes.

The Representations submitted by the FCSG included a Landscape Capacity


Analysis plan, which was submitted to the Council at the Issues and Sites stage
of the LDP consultation. This plan was prepared to demonstrate the possible
location of new development in Powmill as proposed by members of the
FCSG. It highlights the need to focus new development in the village at either Fossoway Community Strategy Group - Indicative expansion plan
side of the A977 and the potential in linking Powmill with Gartwhinzean.

A total of 7.4 hectares have been identified with development potential,


capable of supporting at least 130 homes. A major woodland belt is proposed
along the A977 in recognition of the adverse effect on residential amenity
from traffic on this road.

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January 2011 Development Framework Report
Public exhibitions

2.3 Public exhibitions

Two public exhibitions have been held to present the initial proposals for
Powmill, and generate feedback.

An appraisal of the village and an indicative landuse proposal was displayed to


gain feedback from the residents of Powmill and interested parties.

The illustrative concept proposed the following key components:

• Approximately 300 new homes, 25% of which will be affordable


• Comprehensive traffic calming for the A977 and A823, creating a
more pedestrian friendly environment
• A greenspace network, consisting of open spaces, a play area,
improved footpaths
• Employment opportunities
• A new primary school with associated community facilities
• A Waste Water Treatment Works to eliminate reliance on septic
tanks
• A Sustainable Urban Drainage System

The reaction to this indicative proposal was mixed, with residents both for and
against the scale of development proposed.

Some residents could see the benefits arising from the economies of scale that
allow more facilities and services to be provided to the existing village.

2.4 Interactive community engagement event

A third community engagement event was held in October 2010. This was
focussed around an interactive ‘Six Thinking Hats’ workshop. This allowed
residents to take an active role in considering proposals for their village.

This event was publicised 3 weeks in advance via posters. In the week prior to
the event, all residents and local Councillors received invitations with further
details.

Having discussed how the village could be developed, the residents were
invited to test the proposal and share their ideas during the workshop. This
allowed an understanding of the complexities involved with development, and
gave feedback to Thomson Homes about what is important to the existing
residents of Powmill.

While there was consensus on some of the positive changes which could arise
through the expansion of the village, such as traffic calming through the village
and a mix of uses, there was concern about the scale of housing proposed in
relation to the existing size of the village.

The event clarified the relationship between the potential scale of development
and the benefits that the development process can bring to Powmill.

There was a general understanding that small scale, incremental/ infill


development will not deliver the scale of benefits that residents wish to see.
These include road and pathway improvements, public transport improvements,
new community facilities and employment opportunities.

Consolidation of growth to create tangible benefits was generally considered


to be the best way forward.

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Development Framework Report January 2011
The majority of those attending accepted therefore that in order to gain Capturing new ideas
long term and sustainable improvements to the village, new development Recording of comments and ideas
at an appropriate scale which delivers real community benefit would
be welcomed.

A Consultation Report has been prepared which summarises the feedback


and consensus reached at this community engagement event.

2.5 Feedback and consensus from community engagement

An outcome from the interactive community engagement event was


feedback about the proposals for a new primary school. Whilst potentially
desirable, the community did not consider this to be a priority and would
prefer a smaller scale of development than that required for the provision
of a school.

The ‘wish list’ below summarises the needs of the village, as defined by the
community, and also reflects the feedback given at the Community Council
meetings:

• Provision of appropriate traffic calming along the A977 and A823


to improve road and pedestrian safety;

• Improvement of infrastructure, particularly the existing sewage


treatment;

• Better linkage and integration of Powmill and Gartwhinzean;

• Provision of local jobs through a mix of uses;

• Provision of affordable homes to cater for younger people and


families;

• Improved public transport provision;

• Improvement of local amenities; particularly amenities which


create a ‘heart’ for the village and encourage the involvement of
young people;

• Provision of recreation and play facilities;

• Preservation / enhancement of valuable landscape and wildlife


areas; and

• Enhancement of the footpath and cycle network with connections


to the wider countryside.

The proposals for Powmill reflect the consensus reached at this community
engagement event.

Thomson Homes will engage further with the community to continue this
partnership approach.

Postcards activity

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January 2011 Development Framework Report
Images from interactive community engagement event:
‘Six Thinking Hat’ workshop

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Development Framework Report January 2011
3 Planning
3.1 Planning Applications

Extract from Perth & Kinross Local Plan Within the last five years, two planning applications have come forward for
housing developments in Powmill.

An outline application (04/02463/OUT) was approved at Committee in


December 2005, for Proposal H21 housing site in the Local Plan (A & J
Stephen Ltd). 11 houses were consented, to be accessed from Mill Gardens.
This permission has now lapsed.

A full application (06/01947) was approved in January 2008, for a site at


Gartwhinzean Farm (Cocklaw Developments). This consent is valid for five
years.

3.2 Approved Development Plan

Perth & Kinross Local Plan


The Local Plan links Powmill with Gartwhinzean as a linear settlement,
consolidating various built elements in the locality into a single settlement
for Local Plan purposes. The settlement boundary is drawn tightly around
the existing built up areas.

Proposal H21 (Gartwhinzean) is identified within the village as a future


housing development (0.7ha site with potential for 11 new homes).
Further development areas were identified in earlier drafts to the adopted
Local Plan, but then withdrawn, significantly reducing the opportunities for
investment in the village.

An Area of Great Landscape Value abuts the village to north and west.
Policy 54 states that new developments (in accord with other development
policies) will only be permitted where they are shown to enhance the natural
and man made landscape assets of the area.

An extensive area to the north of the village has been designated for Rural
Business (Policy 82) including houses capable of ‘home working’. No
development has been implemented in relation to this allocation to date.

The Gairney Burn is an area identified for further new tree planting and the
maintenance of the existing tree cover.

Key

Settlement Boundary Encouragement for Tree Planting

Housing Public and Private Open Space

Rural Business Social and Community Facilities

Tree Preservation Order Area of Great Landscape Value

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January 2011 Development Framework Report
3.3 Emerging Development Plan - TAYplan
Extracts from Perth & Kinross MIR (pages 118 and 121):

The Main Issue Report for TAYplan has been published for consultation. This
will set the strategic vision for development for the region, including Perth Option 2:
Option 1:
and Kinross.

Thomson Homes has made representations to TAYplan and is seeking


clarification about the emerging development growth scenario and its
spatial development strategy. The estimates for growth within TAYplan are
not based on the regional HNDA, and therefore does not comply with SPP.
The estimates significantly underestimate the housing land requirement,
creating a housing shortfall.

Thomson Homes has promoted a Sustainable Development Policy as a


mechanism to allow the Strategic Development Plan to maintain a 5 year
effective land supply at all times.

3.4 Emerging Development Plan - Perth & Kinross MIR

It is anticipated that the Local Development Plan (LDP) for Perth and Kinross
will be adopted in 2014. Perth and Kinross has published their Main Issues
Report (MIR) for the emerging LDP for public consultation.

The MIR proposes that of the total housing requirement for Kinross Housing
Market Area (HMA) to 2024, 10% should be transferred to Perth HMA due
to environmental constraints relating to impacts of new development upon
Loch Leven (although parts of the Kinross HMA are outwith the catchment).

Following the deduction of 10% of Kinross HMA’s housing requirement,


the total number of homes required to 2024 is 840. Taking into account
the established land supply, the MIR proposes that 370 additional homes
are required to 2024 to meet the Council’s housing land requirement in
Kinross HMA.

75% of this housing requirement is to be concentrated in the Kinross and


Milnathort area, which is equivalent to 280 new homes.

The remaining 25% (equivalent to 90 homes) is to be concentrated in the


Landward area outwith the Loch Leven Catchment area.

No justification is provided for this split.

Powmill is located within the Landward area of Kinross. The MIR proposes
Option 1: Landward area Option 2: Landward area
two options for the Landward area.
Option 1 is to distribute the 90 homes between small sites in 3 or 4 Option 2 seeks to concentrate the remainder of the housing requirement in
settlements. These settlements are as follows: Site A: Blairingone, (East); Site order to achieve a level of growth which would result in improved services
Option 1 is the Council’s preferred option because they consider that it
B: Blairingone, (North); Site C: Powmill Farm / Hotel; Site D: Scotlandwell; and facilities which would benefit not only that village but also other smaller
would allow for gradual incremental growth across settlements giving a
and Site E: Wester Balgedie. communities in the area.
wider choice of sites and range of locations.
20 - 30 homes have been proposed for each of these settlements, including This approach would be in accord with Scottish Government’s objective to
Option 2 promotes a consolidated expansion either in Powmill or Crook of
Powmill. deliver sustainable economic growth.
Devon for 90 homes.
In comparison with the adopted Local Plan, the MIR removes Proposal Option 2 is therefore to focus all of the Landward area’s share i.e. 90 homes
The land available for development in Powmill is effective in terms of PAN
H21 (11 homes) and includes the Gartwhinzean farm site within site C in one settlement outwith the Loch Leven Catchment. Powmill or the Crook
2/2010.
(12 homes). Therefore, this option only identifies the Gartwhinzean Hotel of Devon have been identified as the potential settlements to accommodate
site already within the settlement boundary as new housing. This should this growth. It should be noted that the Crook of Devon site would require a
more appropriately be considered a windfall site. With Option 1, the MIR is new bridge downstream of the current bridge; and the site was considered
actually reducing housing land for development within Powmill. and rejected at the previous Local Plan Inquiry.

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Development Framework Report January 2011
4 Sustainable Growth in Landward Area
4.1 Housing need and demand in Kinross HMA predicted shortfall stated in Perth & Kinross MIR of 370 homes.
The Council needs to present its evidence on why any environmental or
The following Reports have been prepared by Geddes Consulting and are As a consequence, this has implications for the future development strategy infrastructure constraints lead to the export of housing needs from Kinross
attached as part of the Representations by Thomson Homes. for the Landward Area of Kinross HMA - more land releases are required. to Perth HMA, in particular;

1. Briefing Note on Kinross HMA: Meeting the Future Housing Requirement 4.2 Compliance with SPP 1. What environmental factor necessitates that 10% of the housing
2. Validation Statement: Meeting the Housing Land Requirement requirement for Kinross HMA has to be exported to Perth HMA.
The proposed development strategy set out in the MIR does not accord with
These Reports inform this response to the MIR regarding the assessment SPP for two key reasons. 2. What infrastructure threshold relating to the Loch Leven water treatment
of housing need and demand and the effectiveness of the housing land determines that these 280 homes cannot be accommodated.
supply in Perth & Kinross. These Reports together validate the proposed Meeting the housing land requirement
development strategy in the MIR against SPP. These should be read in There are locations and sites in the Landward Area of the Kinross HMA
Scottish Planning Policy (SPP, para. 72) requires that:
conjunction with this Report. which do not drain to the Kinross WWTW and therefore can accommodate
further development.
...local development plans should allocate land on a range of sites
The Briefing Note on Kinross HMA: Meeting the Housing Requirement which is effective or capable of becoming effective to meet the housing The Council’s proposed development strategy can ensure that Kinross HMA
confirms that the required housing growth estimates for Kinross HMA from land requirement up to year 10 from the predicted year of adoption, can meet its housing requirement in full. There is no need to explore any
both the Perth & Kinross local Housing Need and Demand Assessment housing shortfall.
ensuring a minimum of 5 years effective land supply at all times.
(HNDA) and the TAYplan regional HNDA are unavailable.
4.3 Sustainable development in the Landward area
SPP requires that housing growth estimates are provided by outcomes from The evidence presented with this Representation confirms that the additional
the HNDA process. land releases proposed for Kinross HMA in the MIR will not meet the housing Scottish Government’s prime objective of achieving sustainable economic
land requirement to 2024. This is contrary to SPP. growth promotes development which can create sustainable places. SPP
This Briefing Note recommends that the estimates of need and demand (para. 35) defines sustainable development as follows:
from the regional HNDA should be adopted and if necessary reconciled To meet the potential shortfall of c. 650 homes, the Council should allocate
with the local HNDA to ensure consistency for development plan and local land for c. 490 homes in Kinross/Milnathort and c. 160 homes in the Landward ...The fundamental principle of sustainable development is that it integrates
Area as apportioned according to the 75%/25% split in the Perth & Kinross economic, social and environmental objectives. The aim is to achieve the
housing strategy purposes.
MIR. It should be noted that the Council has not provided any explaination for right development in the right place. The planning system should promote
this percentage split. Further detail is required from the Council. development that supports the move towards a more economically, socially
Due to the unavailablity of the need and demand estimates for the Kinross and environmentally sustainable society.
HMA, Geddes Consulting has prepared an interim assessment against
GRO(S) 2008 household projections. These represent the most up to date The Council therefore needs to allocate at least an additional 70 homes on The Council’s preferred option for the Landward Area in the Kinross HMA is
projection of future growth. top of the 90 homes already proposed in the Landward Area. to distribute 90 homes between small sites in 3 or 4 settlements.

The Validation Statement (as part of this Representation) explains that The housing shortfall in Kinross HMA needs to be finalised once the estimates Small allocations of 20-30 homes are limited in the goal of securing
evidence confirms that MIR’s estimates of growth are lower than the of need and demand have been confirmed from the regional HNDA. sustainable development in the villages identified. This scale of development
HNDA outputs. Consequently the scale of housing land releases will be will not support the creation of a mix of uses and will limit the delivery of
substantially higher. community benefits.
In failing to meet the housing land requirement, the five year effective land
supply is not maintained at all times. This is contrary to SPP. As an option, the Council considers that this scale of growth could be
The following conclusions regarding future housing need and demand in
accommodated in Powmill or Crook of Devon.
Kinross HMA are presented: Meeting the housing requirement within the housing market area
SPP (SPP, para. 74) requires that: The proposal for 90 homes at Powmill has the potential to deliver substantial
1. There is a significant underestimate of future growth in the Perth and benefits to the community, as demonstrated by the proposal in this Report
Kinross MIR if GRO(S) 2006 projections are adopted. for Powmill. This provides the Council with effective housing land capable
2. Using GRO(S) 2008 projections as a basis for determining future growth, ...Planning authorities should ensure that sufficient land is available to meet
of meeting a range of Community benefits.
the housing land requirement for Kinross HMA is c. 1,450 homes for the housing requirement for each housing area in full, unless there are serious
the period 2010 to 2024 equating to c. 80 homes per annum, not local environmental or infrastructure constraints which cannot be resolved to The proposed site at Crook of Devon requires a new bridge downstream
840 homes (60 homes pa) as proposed in the MIR. allow development within the life of the plan. of the current bridge and represents a substantial constraint to the
3. The Council’s assumptions on the effectiveness of the housing land development of this site.
supply are not tested and are considered to significantly over-estimate The Council’s proposal in the MIR is to reallocate 10% of the Kinross HMA
completions within the Plan period. housing requirement to Perth HMA. This is potentially contrary to SPP. This The Council has an opportunity in the Landward Area to release more sites
4. The resultant housing shortfall in Kinross HMA is therefore at least c. to meet an anticipated higher housing need and in turn, release sites across
requirement should be met within the Kinross HMA in full unless specific
650 homes for the period 2010 to 2024. This is almost double the a range of settlements plus the major land release planned in Powmill.
circumstances dictate otherwise.

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January 2011 Development Framework Report
4.4 Employment Requirements 4.6 Conclusions on Scale of Growth for Powmill Option 2 for 90 homes within Powmill is of a scale which could deliver the
significant community benefits which the local community could support.
The MIR also considers the requirements for economic development land, The land under control of Thomson Homes in Powmill has the capacity
but this focuses entirely on land in and around Kinross / Milnathort. to accommodate a mixed use development of around 300 homes, Experience of previous community engagement indicates that with
employment, a new primary school and a village green as the central focus continuing discussion about the proposals this scale of growth could be
The principles of protecting current employment land and identifying new of a substantial greenspace framework. supported by the majority of residents.
site(s) to meet the employment land requirements are set out. No mention
is made of employment sites in the Landward area, either in protecting This scale of growth was identified as an opportunity at the pre- Main Issues Appraisal of the Council’s future housing need and demand has identified
these or identifying more. Report consultation stage. that there is a significant underestimation of future growth in the Perth
and Kinross MIR, and the numbers being planned for in the Kinross HMA
Within the previous Local Plan, an area for ‘Rural Business’ within Powmill Consultation are further reduced by reallocation of 10% of its housing requirement to
has been identified, but no development has been implemented in relation Consultation with the community regarding development in Powmill has the Perth HMA. These conclusions indicate that the resultant shortfall in
to this allocation. identified that the community would welcome a number of improvements housing is more than double that which the Council is planning for.
to the village, most importantly traffic calming through the village and
In reviewing existing employment land within Kinross, it has been established improvements to the treatment of foul drainage. Conclusions
that significant amounts of existing land supply is non-effective. The MIR Based on the scale of growth which the community could support, while still
may therefore be significantly underestimating the identified shortfall. Residents also recognise that small scale, incremental growth such as has delivering significant community benefits, it is considered that an allocation
taken place in Powmill in the past will not create the benefits which people for 90 houses should be identified in Powmill.
Market research by Thomson Homes has identified a demand for local would like to see.
employment opportunities within Powmill, and considers there is sufficient If the Council accepts the conclusions on the housing need and demand,
demand to support development of 1 ha of employment land. However, there is also a consensus that expanding the village too quickly, there may be a requirement for the Council to identify further housing
from around 110 houses to over 400 houses, could result in the very allocations within the Kinross HMA including the Landward area.
To assist the Council in delivering effective employment sites within Kinross, qualities which people value at present being lost.
and creating a sustainable proposal for Powmill, Thomson Homes is In addition, employment land and land for particular needs housing, as part
therefore seeking an allocation for 1 hectare of employment land within The scale of growth necessary to support a new primary school is not of the concept of delivering a sustainable development for Powmill, are
Powmill. something the community as a whole can support at this point, and a more promoted.
modest scale of growth, which still delivers significant community benefits,
4.5 Other Land Uses is more appropriate. Having identified 90 houses as the optimal scale of growth for Powmill
within the Local Plan period, the physical and masterplanning appraisal
Thomson Homes has been in discussion with Care Home operators and Option appraisal undertaken within the remainder of this Report identifies the most
consider there is an opportunity for a Care Village within Powmill. The Council has identified two options for development in the Landward appropriate location for this housing allocation, the potential for other non
area. housing land uses, and presents an indicative masterplan to integrate this
This option may allow the currently derelict Gartwhinzean Hotel to be new development within Powmill.
converted into a Care Home / communal facilities, with specialist housing Option 1 for dispersed growth across a number of settlements or Option
for the elderly in purpose built housing within the adjacent area. 2 for growth consolidated within one settlement. Powmill is identified as a
potential location for both options.
As this is not market housing or affordable housing, a separate allocation
for ‘particular needs housing’ is proposed for this land use. A review of Option 1 indicates that this does not identify new land for
housing - it would only put a housing allocation on a site already consented
for housing, and identify the site of the Gartwhinzean Hotel as appropriate
for redevelopment.

It actually removes a housing allocation for 11 homes which is shown in the


adopted Local Plan.

This scale of ‘growth’ would not deliver any community benefits.

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Development Framework Report January 2011
5 Analysis
5.1 Overview

Powmill is located in the historic Fossoway Parish in the far south of Perth
& Kinross. It is approximately 6 miles from Kinross to the east and 8 miles
from Alloa to the west.

Powmill is well connected to the national road network, with the M90 just
7 miles away, or a 10 minute drive along the main road. Dunfermline, Alloa,
the Kincardine Bridge and Kinross are also easily accessible via the A823 or
A977 main roads.

The village itself has grown around the junction of the A977 and the A823.
The A977 was a Trunk Road in the past, but has been downgraded to a
Main Road.

The road does, however, remain busy, and the lack of traffic calming or road
narrowing through the village means that vehicles travel with excessive
speed and create large amounts of noise, dust and vibration.

Powmill lies on the Pow Burn and Gairney Burn, with associated mature
woodlands and extensive walks.

The area is mostly rural, with small villages, hamlets and farmsteadings
scattered amongst the agricultural landscape.

Powmill is set amongst verdant rolling countryside, with woodlands,


shelterbelts and deeply incised river valleys. The Ochil Hills form a backdrop
to the north for the majority of the area.

According to the 2001 Census, the village had 249 residents comprising 92
households.

The 2010 community event suggests there are now 110 houses in Powmill
(130 in the immediate local area) with around 400 people.

14 Powmill
January 2011 Development Framework Report
Extract from Perth & Kinross Council Preliminary Landscape Appraisal.
5.2 Local Authority Landscape Appraisal

The Council has commissioned a preliminary Landscape Appraisal of


Powmill. This Appraisal highlights a sensitive edge to the north, east and
west of Powmill.

Two major areas have been identified as having development potential.


These areas have capacity to accommodate 130 new homes.

A Landscape Capacity Appraisal has been undertaken by Geddes Consulting.


This Appraisal confirms that the two areas identified by the Council have
capacity to accommodate further development.

This Appraisal also identifies a further capacity within the landscape to


accommodate development between A977 and Cocklaw Farm and limited
development on the eastern side of Powmill.

The edge treatment will be important in determining the acceptability of


new development on the more sensitive edges. Development offers the
opportunity to enhance the existing appearance of these edges through
new planting.

Areas with development potential

Sensitive edges with important landscape features or views beyond

Powmill 15
Development Framework Report January 2011
5.3 Amenities & Movement

Amenities
Powmill currently has few amenities. There is a small local shop, Powmill
Stores, which is located in the village centre. To the north of the village is
the Powmill Milk Bar which is a cafe and garden centre. This is a well known
meeting place in the local area. An old nursery school is now used as the
village hall, called Moubray Hall.

The Gartwhinzean Hotel, a prominent building located on the A977 on the


southern approach into the village, is currently unoccupied, having closed
in the last couple of years, and is falling derelict.

Towards the northern end of the village is a small park containing an


equipped children’s play area. This is adjacent to the busy main road and is
not very well overlooked by neighbouring properties.

The village does not have a primary school, and pupils currently attend
Blairingone, Fossoway and Cleish Primary schools which are all approximately
3 to 5 miles away. High School pupils travel to Kinross for secondary
education.

Movement
Powmill is situated around the junction of the A977 and the A823. The
village is dominated by the A977, which connects to Kincardine to the
south-west and Kinross and the M90 in the east. This busy road effectively
bisects the village. The A823 provides a route to Dunfermline to the south
and passes the Knockhill racing circuit. This road can be busy on race days.

The only routes through the village are along these major thoroughfares.

Public Transport – The village is currently reasonably well served by three


bus services, with bus stops in the village centre, as follows;
• Service 204 – Operates between Dollar and Vane farm Nature Reserve via
Kinross. One service each way on school days and a further three services in
each direction on Wednesdays & Saturdays
• Service 205 – Operates between Glenrothes and Blairingone, three
services in each direction Monday to Saturday, evenings only.
• Service 623 – Two services daily in each direction between Loch Leven
Community Campus and Blairingone on school days only.

A Park-and-Ride facility is available at Kinross, approximately six miles away,


with express services to Edinburgh.

Pedestrian movement through the village is limited primarily to a footpath


along the north side of the busy main route through the town. There is
currently one pedestrian crossing in the village on the A977, close to the
village shop.

Perth & Kinross Council is proposing a number of Core Paths within


the vicinity of Powmill, connecting it with the other villages in the area,
including Crook of Devon and Blairingone. However, parts of these routes
still include the busy A977.

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January 2011 Development Framework Report
5.4 Settlement Appraisal

The village is situated around the junction of the A977 and A823, with all of
the amenities located along the A977. The centre is defined by the village
shop, the village hall, two bus stops and a phone box.

The largest and most prominent building within Powmill is the currently
unoccupied Gartwhinzean Hotel, which is situated just to the west of the
village core and commands uninterrupted views towards Cult Hill. The Hotel
currently defines the entry point to the village when approaching from the
west.

The Hotel is in a poor state of repair. The oldest part of the building is a
substantial stone dwelling and is visible amongst the numerous extensions
that have been added while it was used as a hotel. Partial or complete
demolition would be necessary to bring this site back into active use.
Powmill Stores - the local shop Derelict Gartwhinzean Hotel
The first impression of the village from the north is of the Milk Bar. This is a
popular cafe and meeting place. It is rural in character and separate from the
village centre being poorly linked by footpaths.

The village comprises buildings of varying ages. There are a few dwellings
that date from towards the end of the nineteenth century around the
junction of the A977 and A823. The majority of dwellings are more recent.

In terms of urban form, the more recent developments consist of small


groups of houses accessed from the main road, such as Mill Gardens and
Mossend Green.

Along the main street there are a few buildings that front directly onto the
road including the village shop and the village hall. These buildings have a
variety of setbacks which could help to create a meaningful streetscape.
However, with the road in its current form, being wide and heavily trafficked,
it effectively bisects the village and does not create an attractive or pedestrian
friendly village core.
Powmill Milk Bar - cafe and garden centre Equipped play area
Additionally, the majority of the opposite side of the road from the village
shop and village hall has a grass verge instead of a footpath, prioritising
vehicles over pedestrians.

Moubray Village Hall is the only listed building in the village, with a category
C(S) listing. It is described as an Arts and Crafts detailed hall and dates back
to 1901. The war memorial and boundary walls are also part of the same
listing.

Immediately to the west of Powmill is Gartwhinzean Feus, a small hamlet


consisting of approximately twenty dwellings, which is distinct from Powmill.
Open fields create a buffer between Powmill and Gartwhinzean Feus, and
they are only linked by a footpath on one side of the busy road.

In identity villagers feel the Feus are part of the village, and this is recognised
in the Local Plan settlement boundary and the location of reduced speed
signage for the village. The lack of a physical link does not help keep vehicle
Moubray Hall / pedestrian crossing Road junction between the A977 and A823 in Powmill speeds low through the village.

Powmill 17
Development Framework Report January 2011
1

east site

northwest site

south site

southwest site
2

18 Powmill
January 2011 Development Framework Report
The east site forms a self contained parcel of land between low density
housing, which forms the current edge to Powmill, and a mature hedgerow
which effectively forms the current countryside edge.

The south site is a small field bounded to the north by the backs of houses
which face the A977. The east side is formed by new housing which
overlooks the field towards the A823. The western edge is formed by the
A823 road to Dunfermline and Knockhill Racetrack and the south side is
bounded by the existing dwelling of Hardriggs, and a hedge, with views
beyond to Cult Hill. The field is rough pasture with poor drainage to the
north east. It is contained by a post and wire fence.

The southeast site is contained by the A977 to the north, the A823 to the
west and the access track to Cocklaw, Hillsview and Gartwhinzean Farm
House to the south. The western edge is formed by a mature hedge and
the small area of woodland which surrounds Gartwhinzean Farm House.
4 7 The field slopes gently towards the A977 and the centre of Powmill, and is
currently used for arable crops.

The northwest site comprises the derelict Gartwhinzean Hotel and the
surrounding field, both of which form the southern edge with the A977.
The western edge is a young, but well established shelterbelt, which links
the A977 to the mature woodland associated with the Gairney Burn. This
woodland forms a very strong northern boundary to the site and has good
pedestrian links for recreation. The western edge is formed by the backs of
houses from existing development. There is scope for pedestrian links into
this existing development towards the centre of the village.

1. Photo 1 looks from the derelict Gartwhinzean Hotel over the A977 to
the southwest site and beyond to Cult Hill.

2. Photo 2 looks from a similar location towards the hamlet of Gartwhinzean.

3. Photo 3 shows the current condition of the shelterbelt with the Gairney
5 8 Burn woodland in the distance.

4. Photo 4 shows the western edge of the northwest site, bounded by the
backs of existing houses.
5.5 Site Appraisal
5. Photo 5 is of the south site, overlooked by the new housing on the far
Thomson Homes controls land around Powmill, and is therefore uniquely side, and the mature hedge to the countryside to the right of the new
placed to develop a growth strategy which can take account of physical, housing.
community and planning requirements.
6. Photo 6 shows the contained parcel of land between the existing edge
The site appraisal has been undertaken for all of this land, to inform a of the village and the mature hedgerow on the countryside edge.
decision on the best location to accommodate growth.
7. Photo 7 shows the mature Gairney Burn wood which forms the northern
The proposed expansion of the village comprises four sites, as indicated on edge of the northwest site.
the adjacent drawing by the red line boundaries. For identification, these
sites are called: 8. Photo 8 looks across the southwest site towards the derelict Hotel.
• east
• south
• southwest
6 • northwest

Powmill 19
Development Framework Report January 2011
5.6 Ecology Assessment

Naiad Environmental Consultancy has undertaken a nature conservation and


ecological assessment for the site. This was based on desk and field survey
and took account of indicative proposals. The study area covered the site and
appropriate buffer zones as defined by best practice for the species surveyed.

The phase 1 survey has not identified any habitats of international or national
significance although the semi-natural broadleaved woodland linked to the
Gairney Burn to the north of the site is probably of regional significance as a
lowland wet woodland consisting predominantly of ash, alder and downy birch.

There are several other areas of unimproved grassland but they tend to be of
low ecological significance as they are “rank” grassy corners of small size and
scale.

There were no signs of badgers found on site.


There were no signs of red squirrels found on site.
There were no signs of water voles found on site.

Otters were found to use the Gairney burn and several areas of the burn seemed
to be very attractive to otters. Otter marks were found in the form of spraints
at three sites on the Gairney Burn. Potential otter holts were also found on
the furthest bank outwith the site in a step section of the burn with numerous
waterfall and pools cascading down. Access constraints prevented this site
from being examined in detail. A couch (resting place) was identified further
downstream.

Initial bat survey identified bats flying in and around the old farm buildings
at Gartwhinzean Farm, the adjacent arable fields and shelterbelt edging this.
These were common Pipistrelle pipistrellus and soprano Pipistrelle pygmaeus.
Initial investigations did not suggest any roost sites.

The conclusions confirmed that as the development is generally on arable


farmland, there is little associated wildlife habitat. The only real exception is the
corridor of the Gairney Burn, that supports regionally important woodland of
semi-natural ancient character.

The main areas of ecological interest lie on the boundaries of the site and it is
therefore recommended to avoid impact on these. The presence of European
Protected Species will require additional survey work to confirm locations of
roosts for bats and otter holts and buffer zones to avoid impact. If locations
cannot be avoided, it will be necessary to secure an EPS licence from Scottish
Government prior to disturbance.

Based on a review of the indicative proposals, the ecological effect of the


development was considered to be negligible with regard to habitats and
species.

Consultation regarding foul water arrangements identified that the existing


water quality in the Gairney Burn is poor and this is likely to relate to the age of
the existing treatment works and the number of septic tanks within the village.
There is the potential to improve this problem through the provision of a new
waste water treatment works as part of new development in the village.

20 Powmill
January 2011 Development Framework Report
5.7 Infrastructure and Services

Fresh Water
Powmill is well serviced with a mains fresh water supply, and has adequate
capacity for extra development.

Foul Water
Powmill is predominantly serviced by a waste water treatment works which
is situated towards the east of the village where it discharges into the
Gairney Burn.

The existing treatment works do not cater for the entire village. Some
residents are serviced by septic tanks which need to be inspected and
emptied on a regular basis.

Residents at Gartwhinzean Feus are currently all serviced by a privately


maintained treatment plant.

New development in Powmill will require an upgrade to the existing waste


water treatment system to cater for the increased capacity demand. This
provides a good opportunity to improve the overall set up for the village.

Electricity
The site can be readily provided with electricity from the existing network.
Thomson Homes strive to make their buildings ever more energy efficient,
and will supplement electrical systems with sustainable renewable energy.

SUDS
Powmill has good access to the Gairney and Pow Burns. This provides
good discharge opportunities for Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems
(SUDS). Development can therefore be designed around a comprehensive
sustainable drainage system.

5.8 Flooding

A review of SEPA flood mapping does not identify any areas at risk of
flooding.

Community engagement has identified that some areas are seasonally


affected by ponding, but this is likely to do with ground conditions and
drainage, which could be addressed through the development process
without any adverse effects arising.

Powmill 21
Development Framework Report January 2011
6 The Proposal
6.1 Masterplanning Principles

The proposals aim to address the positive and negative aspects of the village
as follows:

Positive

• Good bus connections to local towns on road links to nearby towns and
the M9 and M90 motorways.

• Good aspect with views to the south to landmarks such as Cult Hill.

• Powmill is adjacent to extensive greenspace network of the Gairney and


Pow Burn corridors.

• Knockhill, home of Scottish motor racing is nearby on the A823. This


visitor attraction generates traffic through the village.

• The village has a shop, cafe and village hall. These need further support
to maintain viability and vitality. The Powmill Milk Bar is a well known
meeting place.

Negative

• The village core is dominated by the main road, with fast traffic bisecting
the community, as well as posing a threat to safety.

• There is a lack of a heart to the community - the nursery school has


closed and been converted to a community hall. The hotel is vacant and
derelict.

• The village has an irregular physical edge to the east, south and west.
The junction of the two main roads meets at an awkward angle in the
middle of the village.

• There are inadequate play facilities for local children.

• Poor links between Gartwhinzean and Powmill.

Overall

The village is in need of new investment to promote regeneration.

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January 2011 Development Framework Report
6.2 Concept

Powmill is a village in need of investment and further development to


sustain local services and maintain vitality.

Thomson Homes recognises the village’s inherent strengths and is seeking


to promote a major expansion to revitalise Powmill.

Thomson Homes is seeking an appropriate scale of expansion which can


put ‘heart’ back into the village.

The main features of the Development Concept are:

• Expand Powmill into the areas identified by the Council and community
as having development potential. These development areas together
provide the physical framework to expand the village by an additional
90 homes.

• New affordable work units, and potentially artisan workshops.

• Care facilities on the site of the Gartwhinzean Hotel and adjacent area.

• Mixed use near the centre of the village to increase activity.

• The proposed development will create a village heart as a physical focus


for village activity.

• A better junction arrangement between the A977 and A823 to slow


traffic down and provide more safety to pedestrians.

• The development will introduce traffic calming measures along the


A977 as well as gateway features to the village.

• Maintain agricultural land as buffer between sensitive ecology along


the Gairney Burn and new development.

• New waste water treatment works to serve the whole village and
improve water quality in the Gairney Burn.

This scale of development will be delivered within the period of the Local
Development Plan.

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Development Framework Report January 2011
24 Powmill
January 2011 Development Framework Report
6.3 The Proposal Access options

Following feedback from the local community and the Council, Thomson
Homes has prepared a more detailed masterplan which shows how their
vision for Powmill might be laid out on the ground. The purpose of this is A977
to allow further discussions with the community, the Council and statutory
authorities to allow the Masterplan to meet their requirements.

Scale of Expansion re-aligned junction


The proposed expansion can accommodate around 90 homes.

25% of the site capacity will be affordable homes, provided by the Council
or housing association. A full range of housing choice will be provided.

23
Development would be in 2 discrete phases over a 10 year period or sooner

A8
to allow the new housing to be assimilated into the physical and social
fabric of Powmill. new roundabout

In addition to new housing, the following elements will also be incorporated


into the development:

• Commercial - workshop/ studio units Road narrowing along the length of the village road to slow traffic, with potential
• Retirement Village - consisting of a care home and assisted living access points.
accommodation
• Hospitality - pub/ cafe-bar

Access Arrangements
Where possible, access is joined to the existing circulation of Powmill, to New junction arrangements to A823 and new roundabout to access new
enable good connectivity. The increased number of junctions off the A977 development and slow traffic entering Powmill from the A823
and additional traffic calming measures, such as road narrowing, will help
to reduce the speed of traffic passing through the village.

Away from the main road, emphasis will be on creating shared surfaces for
pedestrians and vehicles, to enhance the communal and village atmosphere.
This will be in line with Designing Streets policy guidance from the Scottish
Government.

The junction linking the A977 to the A823 will be completely realigned,
for both safety and traffic calming purposes. At the southern entrance to
the village, a new roundabout is proposed to provide access to the new
school and residential development to the west. This will also reduce traffic
speeds on approach to the village, and create an identifiable gateway at the
southern end of the village. Alternative potential access arrangement from A977, showing a new roundabout
to access new development and slow traffic into Powmill.
Access to new housing on the east of the village shall be from the existing
road network, with upgrades to local roads where necessary to the Council’s
specification.

A number of pedestrian and cycle links from the areas of new development
will improve the permeability of the village.

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Development Framework Report January 2011
Residential Provision
The masterplan allows for enough housing to support the entire spectrum
of housing types, which helps create a diverse community. House types will
range from affordable starter homes to executive detached houses.

Different house types will be used to create meaningful spaces and a


pleasant network of streets which will connect into the wider community,
and help draw emphasis in Powmill away from the main road.

The housing will reflect local character, enhancing the sense of place.

Thomson Homes has valuable experience in creating sympathetic homes in


the area, and will draw on this experience to expand Powmill in a unifying
manner.

Designing streets and creating places Responding to local character

Creating communities and places, not housing estates Designing homes to suit locations

26 Powmill
January 2011 Development Framework Report
Sustainable Development
Thomson Homes’ house types will meet more stringent energy efficiency
standards, and the development will contribute to the generation of
electricity from renewable sources through a mix of technologies.

The proposal provides excellent pedestrian links around the village, to the
Core Path Network, to walks along the Gairney Burn and to the existing
and proposed amenities and bus stops in the village.

Improvements to the traffic flow through the village would have a dramatic
effect in the atmosphere and help establish it as a pedestrian orientated
village and not traffic dominated.

Road narrowing, having footpaths on both sides of the road, improving the
junction between the A977 and the A823 and establishing buildings closer
to the road edge will have a positive effect on reducing traffic speeds and
will enhance the impression of entering a pedestrian orientated space.

The housing streets will be shared surface where possible to accentuate the
pedestrian priority and slow vehicle speeds.

The new workplaces will be a major contribution to sustainable living in


Powmill. Providing easy access to public transport

The proposal will have a comprehensive integrated sustainable urban


drainage system (SUDS). The greenpsace and SUDS will be planted to
maximise biodiversity. SUDS ponds as positive, integral elements of the development

Attracting wildlife through planting Providing safe and pleasant pedestrian links, to encourage walking

Powmill 27
Development Framework Report January 2011
New Retirement Village
Purpose-built retirement villages are a new concept in retirement and
provide valuable services to people in need, and good opportunities of
employment for local people.

Powmill is an excellent location for such a facility with the scenic countryside
around and the potential expanded community which is proposed. The
associated employment and visitors will help support local facilities.

Retirement village

28 Powmill
January 2011 Development Framework Report
Hospitality
A further hub will be created with a new pub/cafe in the centre of the village. This will
be situated on the A77, and be part of a courtyard of buildings.

The courtyard can provide flexible accommodation, ranging from workshops and craft
shops to private housing. This has the potential to become a cultural hub in Powmill,
providing diversity and employment opportunities for local residents and attracting
visitors to Powmill.

Pub with artisan workshops


Employment
A series of affordable work units will be provided just off the A77 at the new edge of
the village. This is an appropriate position for work units and gives an added dimension
to the impression of Powmill from the main road.

Opportunities for work in Powmill are currently extremely limited, resulting in the
younger generations leaving Powmill to find work or having to commute.

Businesses in Powmill will increase numbers of visitors to the village, and so will directly
and indirectly lead to support for other services and facilities within the village.

The position of the work units will also act as a buffer to traffic noise to the residents
in the housing beyond as vehicles leave Powmill.

Affordable work units

Powmill 29
Development Framework Report January 2011
Play Space and Greenspace
As part of the comprehensive green network, a large play space is located to be
easily accessible to the whole community. The play space and all open space is
overlooked by housing to provide natural surveillance and provide an interactive
and sociable setting for play and recreation.

The play spaces have easy access to the countryside beyond so that pedestrian
routes around the village, play spaces, parks and the wider countryside are all easily
accessed by the whole village, and create an integrated green network.

Creating greenspace which encourages social activity

Maximising the biodiversity of new planting

Providing strong links to the countryside

30 Powmill
January 2011 Development Framework Report
Recommendations 7
7.1 Community Support

The community engagement undertaken by Thomson Homes has enabled


a better appreciation about the range of benefits which the community is
seeking and assisted in defining an appropriate scale of new development
in Powmill which could be supported by the community. Through these
discussions, participants developed a clearer understanding of the
relationship between the scale of development proposed and the resultant
benefits that could be delivered.

A consensus has emerged that small scale, incremental/infill development


will not deliver the benefits that are wanted. Equally, the scale of growth
which could be delivered by Thomson Homes (up to 300 homes) was felt to
put in danger the very identity of the village which residents value.

The majority of the participants agreed that in order to gain long term
and sustainable improvements to the village, planned and managed growth
at an appropriate scale which delivers real community benefit would be
welcomed.

The proposal for Powmill reflects the discussions and agreement reached
through the community engagement process.

7.2 Recommendations for Proposed Plan

It is recommended that Perth and Kinross Council allocate this


development for 90 homes.

This site is effective and can be developed in the plan period.

The site meets the objectives of Scottish Government with regard


to sustainable development as defined in SPP. In addition, the Local
Development Plan needs to reflect national planning policy encouraging
development to be located in sustainable locations (SPP, paras. 34 – 40).
This proposal contributes to this objective.

The release of this site for housing will assist in maintaining the Council’s 5
year land supply, as required by SPP.

It is recommended that Perth and Kinross Council allocate 1.1 hectare


of employment land on the A977 within Powmill.

It is recommended that Perth and Kinross Council allocate 2.0


hectares of land at the Gartwhinzean Hotel and on adjacent land to
the west (Gartwhinzean Farm) for ‘particular needs housing’.

The proposals for Powmill would be delivered within the Local Plan period
as part of an integrated masterplan proposal, subject to detailed community
engagement.

Powmill 31
Development Framework Report January 2011