Cornton Road Rail Crossing

Cornton Road Rail Crossing

A number of residents have raised concerns about the changes for traffic since the new railway crossing barriers were installed on Cornton Road.  On some occasions queuing traffic has stopped on the rail tracks.  This has been covered recently in the Stirling Observer.

Why was the crossing replaced?

Back in 2017 plans to replace the crossing with a road bridge were objected to by many, including the Community Council.

Cornton Crossing was due for renewal by 2020, and with changes in safety requirements, a like for like replacement was not possible.  The barrier work was completed in May 2021 with the aim to increase safety for rail and road passengers.  The crossing now includes obstacle detection measures, meaning that in the case of any obstruction the train will not pass through.  This safety improvement has come at a cost of increased barrier down time from 38 to 132 seconds on average per train.

Driving over the Crossing

It is very important that when driving this route you do not enter the railway crossing without knowing that your exit is clear.  So please be patient and be aware that vehicles in front of you may not move until they are sure they can safely exit the crossing.

The crossing has the latest obstacle detection technology that scans the area of the crossing to ensure that it is clear before trains are permitted to approach.  So you are not at risk if you do unfortunately need to stop there.

Impacts on the surrounding roads

Dealing with any impact of the crossing changes on the surrounding road network are the responsibility of Stirling Council.   The main impact has been for traffic on the north side of the rail crossing, where with turning vehicles and parked cars around Westerlea drive vehicles may need to wait.

The pinch point by the Westerlea Drive junction was visited by Stirling Council in November after we raised the issue with them.  Their response was that at this point the road is 6.4m wide which should allow for 2 way traffic and for HGVs to pass parked cars.  The current format and extent of the cycle way/footpath and road junction is required for visibility of pedestrians and cyclists by drivers leaving Westerlea Doad.  At that time parking restrictions were not considered necessary. However it was indicated that the situation would continue to be monitored.

The Community Council and Ward Councilors have raised the issue again with Stirling Council to bring recent events to their attention. 

What has been your experience?

What has your experience been of living nearby, walking, cycling or driving this route since the crossing changes?  Leave a comment or feel free to get in touch via contact@ccbridgeofallan.org.uk

Join the Community Council

Join the Community Council

Bridge of Allan Community Council are recruiting.  We are looking for two new members to join the Community Council as co-opted members until full elections are held in 2023.

We have been actively working on many different community projects and initiatives, so it is more important than ever that all sections and voices of Bridge of Allan are represented on the Community Council. We are particularly looking for people with skills in communications, social media and web content creation.  The role involves keeping up to date with community issues raised, working together to find solutions and helping communicate resident’s views to local organisation such as Stirling Council, Network Rail, developers and businesses.   We have 10 meetings a year usually held at the Allan Centre, however at the moment these are held online using Zoom. 

To see what we have been working on recently you can look at past meeting minutes and our Facebook page.  To find out more about community councils and how they are run see here.

How to Apply

You can put yourself forward if you live in the Bridge of Allan area, are over 16, and are on the electoral register.  To nominate yourself you should complete this Co-option Nomination form and return it to contact@ccbridgeofallan.org.uk

Successful Nominations will then be approved at our next meeting.  Although there are only 2 spaces for Co-opted members on the Council, we can also appoint associate members who help us with specific issues such as planning applications, youth events or business for example.  See more here about different types of membership.

Henderson Street speed measures consultation – deadline 9th Jan

Henderson Street speed measures consultation – deadline 9th Jan

A new consultation on a range of proposed changes to Henderson Street and Fountain road is available for your consideration and comments.  The closing date for comments is midnight on the 9th of January.  Find the proposals here: Engage Stirling

 

Experiences with traffic, speeding, parking, walking and cycling in the village generate many comments, questions and requests to the Community Council.  We try and deal with issues as they arise such as reporting potholes or paving defects and requesting increased enforcement. In a more strategic approach we have been involved in a community parking management plan, which has unfortunately been delayed due to the pandemic. 

In September we participated in a walk around with Living Streets, elected councillors, Stirling Council representatives from Traffic Management and residents to consider the street lay out for a range of community members and situations such as morning drop off at the primary school.  After this a number of locations have been identified for changes or further consideration.  These include improving access by installing dropped kerbs and awareness of the need for householders to ensure vegetation from their property does not encroach onto the pavement.

Henderson Street Consultation

Now your views are welcomed on a range of proposals on Henderson Street, which aim to address the concerns of residents about the excessive speeding along this busy route. The proposals have been produced by a working group of Stirling Council officers, Police Scotland and local elected members which included representatives from Bridge of Allan Community Council and from the residents of Henderson Street.

The proposals are for a number of changes to the street layout.  This includes pavement build-outs along key stretches of Henderson Street in order to narrow the road sufficiently to encourage drivers to slow down. Formalising of parking areas, changes to bus stop layout, changes to road markings including removal of the centre line in some areas.

The full plans and details can be found on the Engage Stirling Platform.  Here you can review the plans and make your comments.  Looking at google street view along side the drawing plans is a helpful reminder of the current and past layouts.

The deadline for comments is midnight on the 9th of January to allow the project to progress.  The Community Council will be discussing the plans and consultation comments at our meeting on the 16th of January and the team at Stirling Council will take note of concerns raised in our discussion.

The Consultation designs are proposed on 5 pdf documents, these are summarised here:

  1. Removal of the centre line from Keir Street roundabout to junction with Graham Street, additional formal parking from Lumia to existing double yellows outside 129b.
  2. Build out of pavement where footpath from Lower Westerton Wood meets Henderson Street, centre line retained over the brow of hill, bus stop layby infilled and bus stops on road.
  3. Marked parking outside 105 and 108 ,before the junction with Melville place.  Parking outside 81-89 up to double yellows and keeping access clear.
  4. Build out by parking outside flooring studio, outside Lockhart & Taylor footway bus stop infilled.
  5. There is no drawing 5, this proposal was withdrawn after early discussion.
  6. New zebra crossing on Fountain road at junction with Keir Street. (Note the layout of co-op will be changing with the store is rebuilt).
Christmas Lights Fundraising Appeal

Christmas Lights Fundraising Appeal

We need your help to make Bridge of Allan shine this Christmas!

We love the vibrancy of the village over Christmas, the decorated shop fronts, the Christmas nights out, the carol singing, the Christmas trees and the lights. Sadly, our Christmas lights are in desperate need of refurbishment this year and we need a total of £12,400 to make this happen.
 
Our wonderful light’s sponsors have doubled their donations this year and we are asking our community to find the remaining £7,000.  We have 3 weeks to raise the money so the work can get carried out in time. 
 
There are some rewards available specially designed for our campaign.  So come be part of it, donate what you can.  Together we can brighten Henderson Street this Christmas.
 
 
Download and display a copy of our poster
 
Care Home Plans for Henderson Street

Care Home Plans for Henderson Street

The team behind a planning application for a new care home on Henderson Street met with the Community Community Council on the 28th of July to present the new plans and their approach to the new development.  They were kind enough to allow us to record this to share with the wider community.

After the presentation there was some discussion as we had questions about parking, garden space, footprint and style of the building.

Design - Style and Scale

Design doesn’t appear to be in-keeping with the Victorian aesthetic of the area, eg not continuing the slate roof as used in the old hotel. Glass atrium and protruding fins also seem to be a modern style and L shape of development will impact on the view along Henderson Street

The architect showed the streetscape view and indicated that the intention is to pick up the ‘rhythm’ established by the pattern between glass and wall on the ground and first floors.  The vertical lines are to pick up the features of the chimneys on the existing buildings and there is a challenge to fit in with such an eclectic mix of buildings already on Henderson Street.  It is the intention to design a building of ‘our age’ and not to copy the prestige of the existing villa.  The grey cladding could be textured to match the slate, however there may be commercial constraints in this regard and the reason it can’t be slate is because the roof is vertical and not sloped in order to allow for the third storey.

Then fins are modern, however it is deemed to be an architectural statement.  The hotel sits way back from the building line and the new building will sit even further back to allow for more green space in front of the villa.

The scale of the development was mentioned during the presentation, how will it be addressed?

The current proposals address all issues the planners levelled at the initial designs, for example the plan was originally 70 beds now reduced to 60 and the scale concern is addressed by keeping the two buildings visually separate. 

Parking

Managing parking demands has been a problem in BOA – this is a 60-bed premises with plans only for 19 spaces with 2 disabled.  Is this adequate given the number of staff and where are they likely to park?

Response: Linda Meston confirmed that 20-24 staff members may be present at full capacity however, based on experiences in other homes, no more than a handful of employee vehicles are anticipated to be parked on the site.  This would allow approx. 15 spaces for visitors, again based on experience this is not expected to be reached because people can visit at any time and their numbers are often sadly low.

Rick also advised that the working patterns are split over three shifts and the parking allocation is commensurate with Stirling Council’s guidelines.  There will be a green travel plan and a transport & access statement with the planning application explaining how the applicant intends to meet the expected standards – there will be strict controls around deliveries for example.

Inclusion of existing buildings

How will the two existing buildings be incorporated? Are there plans to demolish parts or will the whole of 105 be removed?

Response: Murray confirmed that 105 is beyond repair given the structural reports, the façade of 103 will be retained however the rear will be altered to re-instate the original building by removing the additions / extensions that have been added over the years.  This is important as the desire is to retain the listed building and ‘wrap’ the new building around it so it is less prominent.  The new build elements on either side are set back to give the villa pride of place.

Garden and Green Space

There doesn’t appear to be much outside space, and is it only accessible to those on the ground floor?

Murray indicated that the ground floor rooms will have access to their own private garden space and communal green spaces will be established on the east wing.

Linda also confirmed that the CGI imagery is not indicative of the gardens, and these will be more fully landscaped in a separate document to be submitted with the planning application.  Whilst residents will always be encouraged to go outside but there is an expectation that many people who will reside in the building are likely to be end-of-life or are otherwise reluctant to go outside.

Drainage

Water seeping down the hill has been a problem at other properties on the street, how is this potential concern around draining and hydrology being addressed?

Response: Derek has walked the site and observed no evidence of ground water or erosion from the higher sites.  The groundworks involved will include protections as necessary; drainage calculations are comprehensive, and the design process requires input from engineers as well as compliance with regulations.

Integration with the Community

It was mentioned that the care home would be accessible to the community; can this be clarified for example, would they consider supporting the local Changing Places toilet project.

Linda indicated that they would be open to discussions, however, need to be mindful of the care inspectorate requirements.

 

Our planning lead Iain consolidated our comments and sent these back to the development team.

 

We do feel that the revised proposal is an improvement and we are pleased to see that the Ivy building is to be retained. We would support Historic Environment Scotland in any comments they may have regarding the demolition of 105 Henderson Street.

Notwithstanding the above, we do still have a small number of concerns about the proposal. The first relates to the modern appearance of the proposed building. We feel that this is not in keeping with the conservation area and wider setting on Bridge of Allan‘s main street. In particular, the fins that we understand have been included to reflect the shape of adjacent chimney stacks, actually make the building appear more contemporary. 

In a similar vein, it is our opinion that the use of cladding instead of slates for the section of the third floor which is meant to look like roofing is inappropriate. These sections of the third floor appear boxlike in comparison to the pitched roof of the existing Ivy building. We are not confident that the two will sit side-by-side harmoniously.

Finally, we feel that the overall proposal represents overdevelopment of the site. We would argue that this level of density is not in keeping with neighbouring properties and the wider conservation area.

Bridge of Allan Community Council

Planning Lead

The planning application is curently live on the Stirling Council Planning Portal with the reference 21/00703/FUL. Here you can see all the designs, drawings and reports associated with the application.  Leaflets are also being delivered inviting your thoughs and comments to be sent to David david@davidcoutts.scot or by phone 07483812259

Park of Keir Development nears conclusion

Park of Keir Development nears conclusion

On 24th June Stirling Council announced that they have received the signed Section 75 agreement from the applicant in relation to the Park of Keir Development.  

For background to this planning application the 2015 proposal and all associated documents are available via the Stirling Council Planning Portal, including an objection on behalf of the Community Council. The application for a tennis and golf center, sports pitches and housing on the Greenbelt between Bridge of Allan and Dunblane was refused by the Council.  The applicant appealed.  In December 2016 a reporter appointed by the Scottish Government to review the appeal recommended that the appeal be dismissed and permission refused for the development.  See the full report here.

However in 2017 Scottish Ministers decided in favour of the development and issued a Notice of Intention to approve the development subject to conditions. See this letter for details of the conditions requested and reasons for the conditions being placed.

Numerous extensions were granted to the applicant to consider and accept the conditions with a deadline of June 30th to agree to the terms.  Negotiations have taken place between Stirling Council and the applicant and it is not clear what the final conditions that have been agreed are. 

Bridge of Allan Community Council, Dunblane Community Council and Residents Against Greenbelt Erosion are calling for transparency, to be able to see the agreement and observe the forthcoming discussion.  Dunblane Community Council have written to Stirling Council and we support their comments.  We are concerned that the conditions have been watered down against the interests of the community, and that the proposed development has altered from the original application.

Our local MSPs Mark Ruskell and Alexander Stewart have spoken out about the development, asking for the proposal to be rejected (Stirling Observer 24.06.2021).  Through the support of our local Councilors we have requested that the documents be made public to allow for public scrutiny and that the planning discussion, due to be held on 3rd August, also be held in a public forum.  However due to past experience we do not hold out much hope.  Contact your local representatives to let them know your views.