Dairy giant urges Scottish Government to back “transformational” planning application

Graham’s MD Robert Graham

GRAHAM’S The Family Dairy has urged the Scottish Government to approve a planning application for the Airthrey Green development in Stirling, which includes 600 new homes, a primary school, parkland and infrastructure upgrades.

The business said the proposal will pave the way for the “single largest investment” in the Scottish dairy industry in more than a generation through the creation of a £40 million processing, R&D and training facility.

Graham’s – in partnership with Mactaggart & Mickel Homes – initially submitted the planning application back in 2014. it was recommended for approval by Stirling Council’s head of planning, however, it was refused and has since been subject to an appeal.

The project is now with Kevin Stewart, the Minister for Local Government and Housing for approval. If passed, Graham’s claim it will generate 1,425 jobs and inject over £65 million gross value added (GVA) into the Scottish economy.

Managing director Robert Graham believes the application is in line with the SNP’s Growth Commission report, Scotland’s Economic Strategy, the Scottish Planning Policy, Stirling’s Economic Strategy and the Scottish Food & Drink Strategy. He said, “Airthrey Green is the ideal case study for what the Sustainable Growth Commission Report refers to as the ‘Next Generation Economic Model for Scotland’. It will have a transformational, positive impact at a crucial time, not only to our business but also the local community.

“Approval will constitute a step-change in investment by facilitating the new dairy, while at the same time tackling the critical housing shortage for Stirling. At its heart, our project invests in people, affordable homes, jobs, skills and infrastructure, and builds on the tremendous opportunities that the recently announced City Deal for Stirling and Clackmannanshire unlocks.

“However, the alternative, if the appeal is dismissed is twofold: Stirling Council’s housing shortfall will continue to deepen, reinforcing the unaffordability of housing in Stirling with wider social and economic impact; and the step-change investment in jobs, skills development and the Scottish dairy sector that is essential to building a progressive, inclusive economy will not be delivered.

“The Growth Commission concludes: ‘Ultimately this is about the sort of country – society and economy – we want to become’. My response is that our family is dedicated to continuing to support the economic ambitions of Stirling and Scotland through partnerships that benefit inclusive growth, as evidenced by our commitment to make our biggest-ever investment against a backdrop of economic uncertainty caused by Brexit.”