Graham’s has been working in partnership with developer Mactaggart & Mickel in a bid to get the project off the ground, which the dairy said would provide revenue to fund its expansion.

Stirling Council denied planning permission for the proposed 600-home Airthrey Kerse development near Bridge of Allan in March 2016 and an appeal to the Scottish Government to overrule the council was rejected last year. The company decided to mount a legal challenge and the Court of Session has now quashed that Scottish Government ruling.

Airthrey Green plan by Graham's The Family Dairy

New community: project would bring new homes to the area


 

Judges ruled that ministers failed to consider evidence of a potential long-term housing shortage in the area.

Scotland’s most senior judge, the Lord President Lord Carloway, said that the Scottish ministers had instead considered a local development plan (LDP) which would solve the housing shortage over a short term.

Graham’s MD Robert Graham said the firm will now revive its quest for permission for the housing development.

“We’re really pleased. I think the main thing is that the court has found the government hasn’t considered it properly,” he told Scottish Grocer. “The government couldn’t have come to the decision they did if they had considered our application properly.

“The planners took no consideration of the economic impact, which made it hard for us to understand the decision when people talk about the economy being important.

“We knew we had a strong case because we couldn’t believe the [original] decision.”

Graham’s has estimated that the dairy site would create 400 jobs and 50 apprenticeships at a “critical time” for the Scottish dairy sector.

“People are looking for more local products. If you look at our industry, the UK is the second largest net importer of dairy products in the world,” said Mr Graham.