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Housing plan sent back to the drawing board

By David Porter

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Garioch councillors have unanimously rejected a plan to create further housing in Kintore.

Councillor Martin Ford
Councillor Martin Ford

At the latest meeting of the Garioch Area Committee a report was brought before councillors outlining the Kintore Masterplan, prepared as a guide for the future development of land in the town identified as BUS2 in the Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan 2017 (ALDP).

This site sits to the north of the main settlement and adjacent to the railway station which is still under construction.

The document on behalf of Monarch Developments, sets out the overall principles for the site in terms of design, layout, access and infrastructure.

At present, and pending the approval of the next LDP which is in progress, the site is allocated for business use only, but the plan presented to councillors includes mixed use with an additional 24 homes at the site.

Commenting local councillor Martin Ford said: "This report describes it as masterplan but I might describe it as a cunning plan because when you break it down this is a proposal to significantly change the use of an important piece of land from what is proposed in the local development plan and what is envisaged by the committee when we created the local plan.

"And indeed what is envisaged locally in terms of the plan doing what its says on the tin.

"The area on the eastern side that the applicant intends to leave for business use is affected by flood risk and I am sceptical it would be used for anything.

"On the other side where we have more detail, it is effectively housing and if we were to approve this masterplan it would be essentially reallocating it to housing.

He continued: "In Kintore at the moment there are, in principal, or progressed approval for well over 1000 houses and it will take years for them to be built out.

He noted: "There are merits to having housing this close to the station, but the masterplan in front of us is effectively another proposal that this becomes yet another housing site.

"This is correctly allocated as a business site."

A motion brought be councillor Ford to refuse the masterplan was unanimously approved by councillors.

It asks the developer to reconsider the plan and redraft it with either business as primary use or leaves the option not to submit at all if left entirely business.

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