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Affordable housing concerns dominate Fyvie, Rothienorman and Monquhitter Community Council meeting

By Kirsty Brown

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It was a lively discussion at the latest meeting of Fyvie, Rothienorman and Monquhitter Community Council, which took place virtually.

Community council members were joined by local councillors and members of the public to discuss the latest goings-on in each of the respective communities, which kickstarted with chairman Harry Sleigh wishing everyone a happy new year.

The dominating discussion for the evening surrounded the planning application for 12 affordable homes in Rothienorman which was approved by Aberdeenshire Council's Infrastructure Services Committee last week.

Residents local to the development are disappointed and have shared that they feel largely let down by the decision, which had received more than 20 individual objections - including one from the Community Council - as well as a petition against the application.

Local councillors heard the grievances and offered reassurances that this application - lodged by Aberdeenshire Council - had been treated fairly, but residents remained concerned about alleged discrepancies in data pertaining to waterworks capacity and school roll when compared to previously declined applications from private applicants.

There was further disappointment as they learned that there would be no further opportunities to appeal the decision.

With regards to concerns about a lack of communication between the Council and the community on the outcome of the application and key dates in the future of the project, councillors pledged to source the requested information for circulation to Rothienorman residents.

In addition to discussions on the newly approved housing development, Rothienorman residents also raised concerns that public toilets in the village had now been closed for a number of months without any communication on why this was the case, but were reassured to learn this may be to prevent damage to the facilities during the winter months and agreed to investigate and confirm if this was indeed the reasoning.

They also reported that the community had been successful in securing another defibrillator for the village.

Discussion then turned to grit bins and it was agreed that it was necessary to promote the locations of these in each of the localities as well as information on how to find your nearest grit bin, how to request a grit bin if there is a need for an additional location and how to request that a grit bin be refilled to ensure it is ready to go when freezing temperatures hit.

Grit bins and refills can be requested directly by members of the public, and for more information on grit bins, you can visit: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/roads/maintenance/winter-maintenance/grit-bin/

In a local update three new members were welcomed as part of the Cuminestown representation - Sarah Robson, Ashley Strachan and Kathryn Vincent - and it was shared that they had assisted in the launch of a new community newsletter (The Monquhitter Messenger) and social media presence.

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