Holmehill Community Buyout

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Luxury Private House, Traditional

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Front elevation of proposed private house

In February 2016 the owners of the hill, Allanwater Developments, launched their fifth attempt to build.   Like its predecessor, Mansion One, this application was for a luxury private house.   The application was made at the same time as the application for Office Block Two, so the two applications were being consulted and decided in parallel.

The design and the supporting arguments were effectively the same as for Mansion One.   The only significant change was to the external appearance of the house, which now had a traditional appearance.   Internally the design was almost identical, giving a total floor area of 814 square metres, including an underground garage, a swimming pool, gym, cinema, games room, office, and six bedrooms all en-suite.

The remarkable thing about this proposal is that it met almost none of the objections that were made to Mansion One.   It was still completely contrary to current planning policies.

The proposal has the Council reference number 16/00057/FUL, and its details can be seen on the Council Planning website.   (Enter the reference number to start the search.)


Stirling Council rejected the application on the 20th June 2016.   The reasons for refusal can be summarised as follows:

  • It "would adversely affect the open space at Holmehill, which forms an important part of the existing network of formal and informal public and private open spaces in Dunblane".
  • It would "adversely affect the Council's overall strategy to strengthen and enhance the network of undeveloped green areas and green corridors in Dunblane and Bridge of Allan - Stirling - Bannockburn."
  • "The proposed scale, bulk and massing of the house development and car parking will not integrate visually with the parkland setting of Holmehill and would be visually disruptive to the amenity of the Conservation Area."
  • "A suitable access cannot be achieved without the demolition of the existing wall and gate piers at Holmehill Lodge and the removal of a number of the large, mature trees which contribute to the special architectural, townscape, or historic character of the Conservation Area.   The proposal will not therefore preserve the landscape qualities of the Dunblane Conservation Area."
  • "the applicant has not provided sufficient information to enable the Council to fully consider the impact of the proposed development on the flora and fauna of the woodland area."


In September 2016 Allanwater requested a review of the decision.   The review was conducted by the Council's Local Review Body (LRB).   In February 2017 the LRB upheld the original decision to refuse the application, endorsing the reasons, given above, why it was unacceptable. In particular, members of the LRB noted that planning decisions have to reflect the policies currently in force. Click here to see more detail.

Image: Architect's drawing of proposed house.   From the planning application to Stirling Council.

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Content: 6th March 2017