Health board 'do not have capacity' for residents in new housing sites

NHS Forth Valley have confirmed that medical practices serving the Bo’ness area are reaching capacity.

NHS Forth Valley health board ‘do not have capacity’ for residents as Bo’ness developers asked to contribute iStock

Developers building more than 400 new homes in Bo’ness will be asked to contribute more than £1,000 per unit to help the NHS cope with the impact new housing will have on local health services.

The site on farmland near Crawfield Road, Bo’ness, was originally rejected by Falkirk councillors but a Scottish Government-appointed reporter overruled that decision when it was included in the council’s latest local development plan.

Detailed plans for the first phase of the housebuilding, which will see 229 houses being built on land to the south of Bo’ness fire station will be in front of Falkirk Council’s planning committee next Tuesday for final approval.

The committee will also be asked to grant planning permission in principle to the second phase, which will include more housing as well as potential commercial and community use.

The reporter’s decision means there is little they can do to stop the development going ahead.

The council is, however, expecting contributions that will mitigate any potential problems caused by the cumulative number of houses that are currently being built in the Bo’ness area.

The report in front of councillors shows that NHS Forth Valley have confirmed that medical practices serving the Bo’ness area are reaching capacity and do not currently have capacity to serve the cumulative total of new residents from the allocated housing sites.

A developer contribution towards capacity related investment has therefore been requested at a rate of £1,159 per unit.

Falkirk Council’s Children’s Services department has also said that while Bo’ness schools are anticipated to be able to meet the demand, there may be pressure on local nursery places.

The applicants have therefore agreed to the request for £373,181 (£1,629.61 per unit) towards nursery provision.

Councillor David Aitchison asked for the committee to look at the plans due to concerns over drainage and potential flooding on and around Crawfield Road and over the lack of public transport to the area.

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