THE proposal for an 800 house development at Airthrey Kerse has been withdrawn from the proposed Local Development Plan by Stirling Council.

The decision comes following a progress report by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) who declared they would 'maintain their objection' to the proposed development at Airthrey Kerse as the all important Draft Local Development Plan meeting gets underway next Wednesday (September 26).

The meeting has been scheduled in the Stirling Council Chambers, Viewforth at 6.30pm tonight where councillors will vote on the plan. The meeting is open to the public and has been eagerly anticipated by local residents in Bridge of Allan who have highlighted numerous concerns for the proposed development of 800 homes at Airthrey Kerse. A meeting was held on August 30 in which Stirling Council met with SEPA along with the developer's consultants to discuss a second flood risk assessment carried out by the body. SEPA had previously commented on the allocation and recommended that it was removed from the local plan due to the overriding flood risk constraint.

Bridge of Allan and Dunblane Councillor, Callum Campbell broke the news to the community last night, saying he was 'delighted' with the news that the proposal had been dropped.

In the agenda for the LDP meeting, it confirmed the decision stating: "Deletion of Airthrey Kerse as an allocated site to reflect significant concerns over flooding, a stance which is supported by SEPA in their continued objection to the proposal. Work will actively continue to determine if the flooding issues can be resolved and the extent to which development outwith areas at risk of flood may be feasible at this location."

As part of the current progress report, SEPA's consultant undertook a number of tests to determine fluvial (river) and pluvial (ponding) flood modelling for the existing site as well as consideration of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS). Their findings included: - Warercourses are likely to add to the total volume of floodwater that will flow into the SUDS and the flood storage/wetland structure.

- There is no detail about how the outflow from the flood storage structure will be distributed between the Forglen and other burns and whether this will effectively increase the catchment area draining to these burns. -There is concern that there is mention of diverting some surface water to the area of the old brickworks where there is no formal outfall to a watercourse and that the SUDS storage unit on the south boundary could spill onto Easter Cornton Road.

- It is not clear if the flood storage can drain to the Forglen Burn via a ditch as this may require flows to go against the natural gradient. There also may be a risk of floodwater within the Forglen Burn backing up the ditch and perhaps entering the pond.

- As the proposed ditch between the floodwater storage structure and the Forglen Burn is in close to existing residential properties and a school, SEPA highlight that there is already frequent flooding from this ditch and it should be demonstrated that the proposals are not going to increase the risk of flooding to those nearby properties.

A spokesperson from SEPA said: "Given the complexity of the flood risk at this site and the lack of information regarding post development situation in terms of the combined pluvial and fluvial flood risk both on the site and in the surrounding developed area as a result of the development, we retain our recommendation from our previous response to Stirling Council dated 16 December 2011 that the site designated for 800 units is removed from the local development plan."

Green Councillor Mark Ruskell is one who had been calling for the development to be removed from the plan completely, he said: "I'm delighted that common sense has prevailed over Airthrey Kerse and that the proposal has been withdrawn from the local plan.

"SEPA's objection not only raises critical concerns about the extent and scale of flooding on the site, but also on surrounding communities as waters are diverted away from the development. Even if you discounted the overwhelming objections over loss of greenbelt and community identity there is now an undeniable problem with the physical viability of the site itself.

"However, there's a need to remain vigilant. I'm sure this isn't the end of the story yet."