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The following information has been received from a representative of JCC Group Ltd. and WS Dunsire & partners. They are proposing developments to the current JCC site in Thornhill and development of a new site, new housing and community facilities. See draft masterplan.

A summary has already been published in ‘Thornhill Views’. The following is the detailed document.

The involvement of the community is an integral part of our proposals, in particular the future use of the existing JCC site.

This proposal has not yet been discussed with Stirling Council or local Councillors but we have sought whether the area is of interest to Rural Stirling Housing Association. In the first instance however,  we wish to seek the views of the Thornhill residents.

  • This is a joint initiative between JCC and WS Dunsire (+ partners), culminating from a necessary business decision by JCC to relocate. The agricultural business is expanding rapidly and is ‘out-growing’ the existing site. The site is not in a good location, being situated on a corner to the western entrance to the Conservation Village of Thornhill and adjacent to a residential area.
  • At present JCC employs 20 staff (including a number of apprenticeships) of which most are local. JCC wishes to expand which will increase local employment opportunities, most notably apprenticeships. A number of sites out with Thornhill have been considered, however it is JCC’s preference to remain close to Thornhill.
  • The Local Development Plan promotes the existing JCC site as a preferred residential area, recognising that the land use is classed as a ‘bad neighbour’ to the adjacent residential  area. Due to the type of business use, the site is contaminated and along with the existing redundant listed building (for which JCC still pays rates) is deemed non viable for residential use.
  • After an extensive site search  and in agreement with JCC, WS Dunsire (+partners) have secured the land for the potential relocation of the agricultural business, as delineated in Plan 1 + 2 attached. The land parcel extends to some 7.3 hectares.
  • The land is classed as greenfield in the Local Development Plan, however there are no other brownfield sites available for such a use within the Thornhill settlement boundary.
  • There are significant costs involved in the relocation of JCC and in this regard, there is a requirement and opportunity to consider a viable and sustainable growth of Thornhill.
  • As part of this proposal we have undertaken a number of studies and financial appraisals which have formed the basis upon which a viable Master Plan can be prepared.
  • The studies already undertaken comprise for example, ecology, landscape, transport and economics, which have guided the initial Master Plan.
  • As part of the viability of the proposal, the economic study has extensively reviewed the ‘economic health’ of Thornhill. Important matters such as age profile, school role, existing services, employment and housing provision have been considered.
  • It is clear in the report that there are employment and housing issues within Thornhill, with limited services and potential future problems with the school role. An analogy has been provided with the village of Doune, which several years ago was in decline. The introduction of a business area and new housing has seen a marked increase in the vitality of Doune, with a number of new social facilities opening, attracting young families and opportunities to the area.

The indicative Plan 3 promotes land use areas, with some 2.7 hectares of Business and industrial use, being located to the western edges of the proposed site with associated access.JCC requires a purpose built site of 1 ha with a 50sq meter workshop.It is proposed as part of this development and in terms of viability to also consider additional business and industrial space, opening up further employment opportunities for the area. In terms of the residual area to the north of the road, it is proposed to promote a mixed tenure residential development. This will assist in the viability of the employment/industrial site as well as providing a mix of houses including bungalows and affordable housing. No layout has been prepared but would estimate that such an area could be suitably facilitate some 70 houses for the market over a period of time, which is significantly less than the number built at Doune.

The site presently occupied by JCC is identified in the Local Development Plan for residential use. The site has been examined and is subject to contamination. The shape of the site and the existence of the redundant listed building renders the site as not suitable or viable for residential use.The proposal is to work with the local community and create an area, for example comprising a village square, some retail units, parking and landscaping. It is possible the redundant listed building could be re-used as a community hub/café linked in to leisure/cycling or similar uses. The Master Plan comprising the proposed new employment area, residential use and re-use of the JCC site are inter-linked and the viability of which are based in part on the proposed new houses.

In normal circumstances on this important matter, we would have presented our proposals to the local community to seek their opinions and ideas.

The views of the local community are important and we would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

The requirement for JCC to relocate and the cost of relocation are fundamental to this proposal, along with an opportunity for investment in Thornhill. There is a requirement for JCC to relocate in the immediate future.

In terms of planning procedure and the next steps, the Master Plan proposal under the planning regulations, would require to be formally consulted with the local community over a 12 week period, seeking views and ideas. After such time a planning application could be submitted to Stirling Council, whereupon all interested parties could make representations direct to the Council.