DEVELOPERS of a controversial waste to energy facility in Throsk have had their planning appeal thrown out.

The application by Powercrofters (Scotland) Ltd proposed the development of a gasification plant at land to the west of Bandeath Lodge, Throsk and was unanimously rejected by Stirling councillors back in March.

This would have included the erection of a waste to energy facility comprising a recycling unit, an energy plant and for the construction of an access to the site via a new roundabout on the A905.

The development was opposed by both Throsk and Polmaise Community Councils due to a number of concerns on the affects it would have on the quality of life of those living near-by.

Despite the strong opposition, Powercrofters decided to appeal against Stirling Council's decision in the hope it would be overturned by the Scottish Government.

However Scottish Government-appointed Reporter Timothy Brian, concluded that the area was not suitable for such a facility, despite no evidence to suggest that the proposed development would be a potential fire or explosive hazard and despite stating that it would 'not be appropriate' to refuse permission on the grounds of air, noise or odour pollution.

In his report, Mr Brian said: "There is a demonstrable need in the Forth Valley area for this type of facility, which would assist in achieving the aims of the Zero Waste Plan, meet the proximity principle, generate energy for the grid and would be capable of providing steam and/or hot water to nearby industrial or residential properties.

"However I also conclude that the land to the west of Bandeath Lodge is the wrong site for a waste to energy facility, principally due to its proximity to houses and a play area." He added: "I acknowledge that the proposal would create local employment, but there is no reason why the same objective could not be secured by constructing the facility on a less sensitive site in the area." The reporter concluded that imposing planning conditions would not overcome the 'intrinsic shortcomings' of the site.

The decision was welcomed by the Eastern Villages Councillors.

SNP councillor Alasdair MacPherson said: "This a significant victory for Throsk residents. I am pleased that the Reporter took cognisance of Throsk Community Council's excellent representations during the determination of the planning application and subsequent appeal. This was clearly not an appropriate form of development for Throsk.

"If it had been given the green light, it would have had a horrendous impact on nearby households, so it is a great relief that the appeal has been dismissed" Labour councillors Margaret Brisley and Violet Weir released a joint statement saying: "This is great news that the will of the people has prevailed. We have been involved with the community from the outset, listening to their comments and concerns. There was real anxiety about the impact of this application going ahead within close proximity to their homes and the play area near by.

"The council's Planning Panel unanimously rejected the application against the officers' recommendation. It was mainly because of the proximity to the houses and the play area.

"The community representatives put forward a very compelling case for refusal and all credit must go to them. It would have been a travesty if the appeal had been granted in the face of such fierce opposition by the community."