Falkirk Council’s SNP Leader Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn, has described as “a huge blow
for the Braes Community” the decision of the council’s Planning Committee to reject
a recommendation from their own Planning Officers to levy a private developer
£330,000 over three years to improve bus services in the Braes area of Falkirk.
In a shock move Labour Councillor for the Upper Braes Ward, John McLuckie
proposed acceptance of the application lodged by Persimmons Homes for 91 houses
on the Tappernail Farm site by Shieldhill. McLuckie went on to seek the removal of
the condition that required the developer to pay a contribution to the local bus services
from an hourly service to a half hour.
McLuckie was supported by his Labour colleagues, Joan Coombes, Robert Bissett,
Jim Blackwood, Independent Billy Buchanan along with Conservative, Lynn Munro.
The other Tory member of the committee, James Kerr declared an interest in the
application and took no part in the deliberations.
The five SNP members of the committee all voted to reject the application but when
they lost that vote by 6 – 5 they proposed a further amendment to re-instate the bus
clause. Labour and Tory members along with Provost Billy Buchanan, then voted
against this amendment to the detriment of the Braes community.
Cllr Meiklejohn said.
“ I find the decision to go against the advice of the professional officers and pass up a
better bus service for the people of the Braes demands an explanation from those
“Only a few days ago Cllr McLuckie and his Labour colleagues were demanding
more cash from the Scottish Government and here we have Labour and Tory
Councillors, and the Provost of Falkirk effectively giving a developer a £330,000
subsidy for private housing.”
“Its time that the priority for these Councillors became the people they are supposed