COUNCILLORS agreed to delay a decision on new elderly accommodation following impassioned pleas by local residents.

Three objections were received for the council-proposed development at Creveul Court in Alexandria, which would see 22 units built across three buildings, providing affordable homes for the elderly.

At a meeting of the planning committee last week, the objectors were given a chance to speak, and councillors agreed by four votes to two to delay a decision until more discussions about the plans could be had.

Local business owner Moira Nicholas, the proprietor of the Paint Pot on Bank Street, objected on the grounds of access for deliveries and customers to her shop.

She said: “My family have had this business for 50 years, and 40 of them have been at the same site.

“This development means that I would lose part of a car park that I would need for deliveries, or that is used by some of my patrons.

“I have spare ground at the front of the shop, that I was told was going to be turned into parking, but that’s never materialised.”

Ms Nicholas, who rents her premises from the council, added: “Business is hard enough as it is without having to deal with this.”

The business owner also said the dialogue between herself and the council has been virtually non-existent, stating: “No one has been in to see us, I don’t even know who I would speak to about this, or who is in charge.”

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Angela Plews, the chairwoman of the Central Alexandria Tenants and Residents Association (CETRA), also voiced her objection.

As part of the plans, a number of mature trees would have to be felled on Bank Street, an area which Ms Plews claims is used by elderly people in the community as a rest area.

She told the committee: “The proposed position of the site, would remove a significant and mature green space, which is – and has been for decades – a resting area for the elderly people in my community, going to and from the town centre.

“If this plan goes ahead, it will isolate the most vulnerable residents.”

Kevin Mason, the project manager at the Leamy Foundation also objected to the removal of the trees, claiming his organisation would like to see a “green path” cutting straight through the town, to the River Leven.

The project would consist of landscaping work done by school children and other groups of volunteers.

Councillor Lawrence O’Neill tabled a motion to delay the final decision on Creveul Court, to allow for alternative arrangements to be discussed, including the moving of the planned site, or the redevelopment of nearby unused green space into an area for the community.

Councillor O’Neill said: “We’re removing an area that’s currently used for people to socialise.

“The report has said that this is not much of an amenity, but the community has said that it’s an amenity that’s used by people.

“As a local authority, I think we should do better at taking care of our greenspace.”

“I’m uncomfortable with the proposal as it sits now.

“I move for a continuation to be able to have further discussions about alternatives.”

“Moira in particular, she pays her non-domestic rates and rent to the council and as she said earlier we are making it harder for her to work.”

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Baillie Dennis Agnew tabled an amendment to the motion which called for the plans to be passed, which was defeated when put to a vote.

Baillie Agnew also pushed officers to look into green space provision near the site.

The plans are slated to return to a future planning committee for a decision to be made.