Planning

Planning

Blackthorn Grove TP/ED/18/0367

Background
This site was formerly occupied by 35 lock-up garages in two rows on the north and south sides of Blackthorn Grove. These were demolished some years ago.  The available ground is currently being used for access and parking by some residents in Blackthorn Grove and Ash Grove.  Two of the four houses in Blackthorn Grove use front garden space for parking and a third has a garage extension.

Proposal
The proposed housing is in two blocks. The southern block comprises two single-storey, one-bedroom (bungalow) houses, attached in a terrace to neighbouring upper and lower two-bedroom flats. The small block north of this comprises upper and lower one-bedroom flats. Parking provision for 12 cars and one space for a disabled user is proposed.  Access to rear gardens is direct for the ground floor houses and via pathways leading from front doors in the case of upper flats.
Residents at 7 and 9 Ash Grove appear to have pedestrian access to the ‘bungalow’ pathway system via personal gates. The gardens of the 2-flat block extend into the ownership of number 9 Blackthorn Avenue and a gate is again proposed, giving access from there to the pathway system and to Blackthorn Grove.  The plan requires the removal of three tall conifer trees which appear to be in the current garden space of 9 Blackthorn Avenue.
The following comments have also been informed by a consultation event where it was stated that the houses would be designed to meet the needs of older people through such features as grab rails or walk-in showers.  However, this information is not included in the Planning documentation and baths are shown in all the house plans.

Representations
Representations concerning this proposal were made to Lenzie Community Council at its April meeting by seven residents of Ash Grove and Blackthorn Grove, corresponding to four addresses in Ash Grove, one address in Blackthorn Grove and one unknown address.  The substance of these comments was that there is currently a lack of parking in the area, the proximity of Lenzie Meadow School had increased traffic/parking levels, parking problems were likely during the construction phase, street lighting might have an effect on the Moss environment and there is a possibility of flooding problems related to the Moss.  These residents were advised to make their representations individually to the Planning Department when the Planning Proposal would be published.

Other issues
Given that there is a well-documented shortage of housing for older people in the area, the proposed development is welcomed by Lenzie Community Council.  It is a quiet location, adjacent to Lenzie Moss Nature Reserve.  On the negative side, there are no convenient shops, nor is there a reasonably short, direct, all-weather walking route to major bus routes on Boghead Road or Kirkintilloch Road.  There is, however, a pedestrian path through from Blackthorn Avenue to Oak Drive where there is an SPT service to Lenzie Station and Kirkintilloch.  This route should be checked and improved if possible (there are steps at Oak Drive) to ensure that it is viable.  Extension to Boghead Road would also be good. It was noted that a single disabled user parking space is planned but, of all the designated parking spaces, it is the furthest away from the houses.  The layout of spaces might be considered further, to avoid this outcome.

Conclusion
Lenzie Community Council supports this application, but has pointed out some aspects that deserve attention to enhance the proposal in terms of housing for elderly people.