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Last Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008, 11:37 GMT
Prudential wins support for plans
Prudential's Craigforth base at Stirling
More than 2,000 people work at the Craigforth site
Up to 3,000 new jobs could be created if plans to create a commercial centre at Prudential's Stirling base are given the go-ahead, the company has said.

The insurance giant has put forward plans to build two business parks, hotels, a restaurant and offices at Craigforth.

Stirling Councillors backed an outline application by the company at a special meeting on Thursday evening.

Detailed plans of the development will now be submitted for consideration.

About 2,300 Prudential staff are currently employed on the site.

Proposals by the company to build luxury homes as part of the development were deleted from the application on the request of council members.

Historic Scotland has also raised concerns over the visual impact of the plan.

If given the go ahead, Prudential said the development would safeguard existing jobs at the site and could create between 600 and 3,000 new jobs.

Community benefits

A report to councillors said some elements of the proposals contravened moves not to develop unspoilt areas of countryside.

However, the majority of the plans were on land that had already been developed.

It said: "Any proposals for undeveloped land would be subject to careful consideration at the detailed planning stage.

"Proposals for housing on the site had been deleted from the application after discussion with the applicant. Since the proposal is in outline it is not possible to assess the detailed design of the buildings."

Councillors were also told that the Prudential plan, combined with the nearby Castle Business Park, the Kildean Loop and the Raploch Regeneration Initiative could create one of the major economic and employment centres in Scotland.

Stirling Council said it was now asking for discussions to take place with the developer on community benefits.

Scottish ministers will have the final decision on the plans as the development is contrary to the council's development plan.

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