THE developer behind a bid for 99 homes on greenbelt land has already appealed to the government - before councillors even reject the plan.

West Dunbartonshire Council is set to vote on the latest proposal for Duntiglennan Fields in Duntocher on February 26. The planning committee last month recommended they reject the idea.

But on Friday it emerged developer Barratt Homes lodged an appeal with the Scottish Government’s planning reporter.

The government confirmed the homes firm had the right to appeal because a decision hadn’t been taken within four months.

It raised the stakes again on the bitterly opposed development of the land, off Farm Road.

The planning reporter previously overruled the council to approve proposals for the site from Taylor Wimpey, but the council blocked it by halting their entire local development plan.

There has been 122 objections to the Barratt Homes plans, which would see the development over two fields connected to each other by a narrow corridor.

Members of the planning committee deferred the decision to the full council because the plan would be a significant departure from the area’s development plan and there is a statutory requirement for such moves to be determined by all councillors.

The recommendation is to reject the major development.

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Concerned resident William Blair said: “My main concern is the congestion on Farm Road which is currently very difficult to negotiate.

“Research has shown that additional housing would increase the flow of traffic by 54 per cent. The road is already congested and that is why we object to more housing.”

Other objectors agreed Farm Road was already in “gridlock”.

A planning consultant for Barratt Homes, who made the application after repeated attempts by Taylor Wimpey were rejected, said the development would help address a housing shortfall.

David Campbell said: “This development would allow people to stay in the area or move back here.

“There is an insufficient land allocation for housing developments and there is shortfall of land for 250 to 300 homes in West Dunbartonshire.”

Councillors on the planning committee agreed the greenbelt land should be protected.