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Councillors approve request to change community council boundary in Mintlaw

By Kyle Ritchie

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A proposal to change Mintlaw and District Community Council's boundary has been approved by Buchan councillors.

The group made a request to Aberdeenshire Council for an extension so it includes the area north of Balring Road incorporating the Northwoods Business Park development.

The move was made as it said it would give its members a greater ability to influence any future developments on the site.

However, the area in question was under the remit of Deer Community Council which was against the plans as it said it "would set an undesirable precedent".

The Buchan area committee assessed the request during its online meeting on Tuesday.

Councillor Norman Smith supported the request to change the boundary.
Councillor Norman Smith supported the request to change the boundary.

Area manager Amanda Roe presented the report to the local members.

She told the meeting: "Prior to the formal consultation process myself and the area committee officer met with representatives from both Deer and Mintlaw community councils, recognising that there were concerns and queries from Deer Community Council.

"The formal consultation response from Deer Community Council was to not support the boundary request from Mintlaw Community Council, citing that the boundaries are well recognised and a change was set an undesirable precedent.

"However, I've also considered the justification from Mintlaw Community Council and I am recommending that committee approve the boundary change request, as I'm of the opinion that the reasons for the request are reasonable and Mintlaw Community Council have sought to reassure Deer Community Council that the changes are for practical reasons only.

"I have established that based on current policies, strategies and regulations there should be no detriment to Deer Community Council; the residents and businesses impacted by the change; or to other settlements within Deer Community Council's catchment should the boundary be revised."

In the report that went before councillors the reasons for Mintlaw and District Community Council to change their boundary were outlined.

It said: "A request was received from Mintlaw and District Community Council for a boundary change, based on the following justification –

“Northwoods Business Park development on Balring Road, which has been given planning permission in principle, is situated just north of the Balring Road, currently the northern boundary of Mintlaw Community Council.

"According to the proposal, put forward by the developer of the business park at the planning application stage, two of the initial occupants were to be an Aberdeenshire depot and Colaren housing offices and storage.

"This business park will lead to increased traffic, pollution and noise. Planning permission has already been given to widen the Balring Road up to the entrance of the site, which indicates the size and volume of the vehicles which are likely to be travelling to the site.

"The main residential and commercial area to be affected by the increased traffic is Mintlaw, given the proximity of the development to the village.

"Mintlaw and District Community Council feel that to extend the northern boundary of the council to include the area to the north of Balring Road would give the community council a greater ability to influence any future developments on the site, as the area would then be within the council zone.

"The community council can bring a considered insight to these developments, given their local knowledge and awareness of any impact on the infrastructure, employment and businesses in Mintlaw.

"The community council would also be in a stronger position to deal with any complaints from Mintlaw residents which may arise from issues related to the site.

Buchan area manager Amanda Roe made Deer Community Council aware of the request and the issue was discussed at the group's November meeting.

The report said: "Following their meeting, the below response was received from Deer’s secretary – 'The matter was fully discussed, with serious concerns raised as to the validity of the request and I am instructed to make the following response.

"We, the elected members of Deer Community Council, oppose any change to our community council boundary.

"Our primary concern is that boundaries established at least 30 years ago are well recognised by the local people and we believe these should be maintained as at present.

"A proposed change such as this would set an undesirable precedent and we, therefore, unanimously reject the proposal.'"

Councillor Jim Ingram supported Mintlaw community council's request and told the meeting: "Looking at the map of the community councils you find that Mintlaw's is actually bursting at the seams and that is basically the reason why this request has come forward.

"I don't think it a unreasonable request and I share the views of the area manager.

"The industrial estate, which has been through the planning processes on a few occasions, has always been deemed as being an extension to Mintlaw.

"Leaving that land within Deer would lead to continual misunderstandings and possible conflicts."

He was seconded by committee chairman councillor Norman Smith and the request was approved.

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