CONTROVERSIAL plans for a large housing development have been approved by the city council's planning panel despite concerns about site safety on the "old landfill site."

An application for planning permission was submitted in outline by Loving Land Limited.

Although not a final number, development could see 132 dwellings built on land off St Ninians Road and Cammock Crescent when the planning process is complete.

Ward councillor Colin Glover said: “Residents are quite concerned particularly those in Cammock Crescent but also those in Brisco Meadows.

“The principle concerns surround highways. There are other concerns which they do acknowledge are reserved matters and will be dealt with further down the line.

“I would say at the outset that residents don’t object to the principal of development although it’s recognised that it is a very complex site.

“Their main concern, one is about site safety and the other is about the access proposals in the report.

“It is a very complex site, it’s an old landfill site. There have been several attempts to develop or plan development over the years and each have not come to anything primarily due to the contamination and the highways issues.”

Cllr Glover said: “Safety is a particularly sensitive issue on this site. There are inspection covers on the site as a result of being previous landfill and all be it quite a number of years ago there were fatalities on the site when children accessed the inspection chambers and sadly lost their lives.”

Although an increase in traffic is a concern, Cllr Glover said: “Residents were reassured when they saw the Highways response that St Ninian’s Road should be the only vehicle access.”

The agent, Eric Telford of Telford Planning Associates said: "The site was allocated (for development in the Local Plan) and planning consent was granted twice while it was an allocated site. The fact that the work didn't start wasn't to do with the fact that the site was contaminated, the first planning consent was to a company that went into liquidation and they couldn't complete the 106 agreement."

A section 106 agreement requires developers to make a contribution to affordable housing provision, school places or the improvement of play areas.

The agent attempted to ease the concerns of residents and the committee.

"I have written to the planning officer indicating that no vehicular access will go through into either of those estate roads but having listened again to some of the committee's comments this morning on emergency accesses and how they can be misused, the reserved matters application will show no vehicular access whatsoever including emergency access if the county council will accept that." 

Councillor Lisa Brown raised concerns about congestion in the area which is already "a rat run."

Although she acknowledges that the plans are in outline, Cllr Brown said she did not feel comfortable voting it through.

Case officer Richard Maunsell reminded members that a condition on the development requires that the means of access will be agreed at a later stage in the planning process.

Members were reassured that their concerns would be acted upon before the plans come back to the committee at the next stage of the process.