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29 Mar 2021

Objection to planning application adjacent to the Pineapple

A pineapple-shaped building stands at the centre of a tall, stone garden wall. Shrubs are trained against the garden wall. Tall trees stand at either edge.
The Pineapple
Dating to 1761, the A-Listed Pineapple is one of Scotland’s most exotic and celebrated buildings and was constructed by the Earl of Dunmore amid a purpose-designed landscape.

We’ve lodged a formal objection to a planning application lodged by George Russell Construction for a housing development at Mains Farm, Airth, directly adjacent to the Pineapple and the historic Dunmore Estate. The property has been in our care since 1973.

An unsolicited proposal for a visitor centre along with 22 houses was made public in 2018, and the Trust entered into correspondence with the developer. Contrary to the impression given in the developer’s Design and Access Statement, the Trust did not endorse the proposals and merely requested assurances on the ecological impact on rare species as well as clarification on the purpose of the visitor centre. No such assurances were forthcoming and the developer eventually withdrew the planning application for this initial scheme.

The new application, which is now under consideration by Falkirk Council, almost quadruples the number of proposed houses to 82. The overall scheme causes the Trust great concern for the integrity and setting of the landscape around the Pineapple, as well as the threat to wildlife. It is also our view that a development in this location would set a planning precedent that may mean more of the area being re-zoned for development.

The National Trust for Scotland’s Chief Executive, Phil Long said:

‘The Pineapple is one of the most significant buildings in Scotland and its unique ambience is dependent on its setting within Dunmore Park with its woodland and abundant wildlife.

‘It is clear to us that this development scheme would have a hugely adverse impact on the site, which is designated within the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland. As we have seen all too often, inappropriately scaled and sited developments have impaired or overwhelmed many important historic and natural landscapes and it’s our obligation to ensure that this does not happen to the Pineapple.’