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Blackburn retail development gets the go ahead

By David Porter

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Councillors on the Garioch area committee have unanimously backed plans for a new retail premises on the edge of Blackburn.

Plans have been approved for a new retail premises in Blackburn which would include a large electric vehicle charging station.
Plans have been approved for a new retail premises in Blackburn which would include a large electric vehicle charging station.

Developer South Fornet Estates applied for permission at the Westpark Business Park in February.

The company currently own three sites at the business park which is home to a drive-thru Starbucks.

As well as a new shop unit a total of 11 electric vehicle charging points are set to be installed as the first facility of this larges size next to the A96.

Senior planner Bruce Strachan presented the report to members of the committee at an online meeting.

Councillor Ron McKail asked if the electric charging points could be the fastest type of device currently available to motorists.

He said: “It is remarkable there is going to be 11 charging points that doesn’t happen anywhere else that I can recollect in Aberdeenshire.

“Is it possible to ask for them to be rapid charging points which are 50kw and they charge the car in 45 minutes.”

Mr Strachan said he spoke to the agent dealing with the planning application a few days ago and said they want to use the most up to date system.

He said: “Whilst they are fast charging points at the moment what he said the actual units they go in the actual parking space will look slightly different.

“There is a commitment there to get an operator that has the latest technology whether they are fast or rapid is not something we would stray into.

“We are simply looking at this for the approval for 11 charging points beyond that I don’t think we make any other specific requirement.”

The same meeting also saw councillors give backing to upgrade a walking and cycling route.

Following a public consultation carried out by the council there was “overwhelming opinion” for a connection between Kintore and Blackburn.

Two options hadbeen considered,a new path adjacent to the A96 and the upgrade of the existingSkair Road route.

The report before councillors indicated that the A96 route would be used by commuters travelling to Aberdeen and the Skair Road would be for recreation and that both should be supported.

Councillors asked local authority officers to look into funding options for the improvement schemes

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