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Decision on Ellon housing development deferred by councillors

By Kyle Ritchie

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The Formartine area committee has deferred its decision on a proposal to build a new housing development on the site of the former Ellon Academy.

Aberdeenshire Council has applied to construct 40 affordable homes on the land in the town centre.

The plans are for a mixture of properties and will consist 24 flats, 10 semi-detached homes and six terraced houses.

Councillors assessed the proposal during its online meeting on Tuesday.

The committee was recommended to approve the application.

An architectural impression of the new housing development being proposed for Ellon.
An architectural impression of the new housing development being proposed for Ellon.

Senior planning officer James Wheater told the meeting: "On balance and subject to the conditions that we have set out we feel that the development meets the aspirations of the masterplan, addresses the considerations set out in the development policy in terms of providing high quality space and, notwithstanding some of the concerns, addresses the majority of the issues raised by members of the public."

In the report before councillors it outlined that the development met with the planning services policies.

It said: "The planning authority considers that the application is for a development that is in accordance with the Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan 2017.

"The proposal would involve the erection of housing on part of an allocated site for mixed use development.

"The proposed development would accord with the agreed masterplan for the site in terms of its layout, siting and design and it is concluded that the economic and social benefit of providing 40 units of affordable housing to meet an established need in Ellon would outweigh the loss of a number of trees on the site."

The development received 31 objections which outlined a number of concerns including lack of community facilities and shops; loss of open space and trees; the impact on ancient woodland and the over provision of housing on the site and the wider area.

Other issues highlighted by the objectors were road safety; loss and lack of parking, concerns over bin storage and a loss of privacy.

Throughout the discussion councillors outlined their own concerns which were lack of vehicle electric charging points; placement of bin storage; landscape maintenance; finish of buildings; traffic monitoring; boundary treatment for the south of the site and replacement of a nearby pedestrian crossing.

Committee chairwoman councillor Isobel Davidson put forward a motion that the application be deferred so councillors could get clarification on these points.

She said: "This deferral would be for clarification on these items, it might not be a change to these items."

The committee agreed with councillor Davidson's motion and the application will come back to the committee during its online meeting on December 8.

The new community campus in Ellon opened in 2016 and left two large sites of land.

The development would be all affordable housing and several would be designed for people with accessibility issues.

The developer obligations will go towards the provision of three community sports pitches or similar facilities and a new health centre in the town.

Related story: Housing plan set for committee approval

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