Housing plan set for committee approval
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Councillors on the Formartine area committee will be asked by planners next week to approve a new development of affordable housing within the old academy site in Ellon town centre.
The authority itself has submitted the application for the homes, which will be rented social housing to meet current demand.
Back in 2016, the new academy campus opened on the outskirts of Ellon, which left two significantly sized sites vacated within the town centre.
The proposed site for the new housing is the western part of the site sitting just outside the defined town centre.
A masterplan for the site as a whole was approved back in 2018, which divided the area into housing and business use.
The proposal includes a mix of housing, ranging from 18 one-bedroom flats through to four-bedroom properties with flats and two-storey houses in a mix which will provide a total of 24 flats and 10 semi-detached and six terraced houses.
It was also confirmed in submitted papers that the proposal is for 100 per cent affordable housing, with several being designed to be suitable for residents with accessibility issues.
A total of 31 objections have been received which raised a number of issues including lack of community facilities, loss of open spaces and trees, road safety and a lack of parking.
In the planners report, each of these has been addressed and Infrastructure Services outline that: "While the loss of trees from the site is highly regrettable as they contribute to the amenity and setting of Schoolhill Road however, the principle of removing these trees was acceptedas part of the Masterplan for the site.
"Planting is proposed within the site to replace these trees so there would be no net loss of tree cover.
"50 trees to be planted in order to offset the loss of the 29 within the application site.
"While there are particular concerns over the loss of trees to accommodate the development, it is determined that the provision on an allocated site of 100 per cent affordable housing, to meet an established need in Ellon, is justification fortheir removal.
A shortfall of five parking spaces is also accounted for as part of the development of the adjacent phased site of development.
The planning service argues that the proposal accords with the general layout of the relevant section of the approved Masterplan and shares key design elements such as the central spine road, the re-establishment of a linear approach towardsEllon Castle, and the inclusion of footpaths that would link into the existing path network.
It also: "Brings forward the notion of a home-zone along the central part of the spine road with a level surface and a promotion of a shared space rather than a segregation between drivers and pedestrians."
Developer obligations will include contributions toward the provision of “three community sports pitches or other such facilities serving the residents of the development.” also secured towards a new Health Centre in Ellon.