The council had no objection in principle to residential development which complied with the development plan. A major issue concerned traffic congestion and queuing at an extremely busy bridge junction. After considering the evidence and taking into account the effects of a forthcoming link road across the river, the reporter concluded there would therefore be no practical benefit for the operation of the junction by refusing planning permission, but as the submitted transport assessment assumed seventy houses as a worst case a condition would need to specify permission in principle was for no more than this number. On the basis of this finding, the reporter did not agree with the council that a condition was necessary to prevent the development commencing before the river crossing link road became a committed project, also stating that to delay development risked further deterioration of the listed hospital buildings.
As the hospital buildings were listed, any residential development on the site would have to be carefully designed to protect their setting. The reporter was satisfied that an appropriately designed development was possible, noting that Historic Environment Scotland had no made no objection. Subject to conditions for phasing and addressing other matters, and a planning obligation to secure financial contributions, the reporter stated his intention to grant permission in principle.
Reporter: Dan Jackman; Inquiry