Green light for homes at Ellon Academy

Green light for homes at Ellon Academy

Plans to build 40 affordable homes at the site of the old Ellon Academy have been approved by Aberdeenshire Council’s Formartine area committee.

The plans were given approval on the proviso road safety concerns be addressed.

Proposals for the development, consisting of 24 one and two-bedroom flats and 16 three and four-bedroom houses, received several objections from members of the public who cited issues such as loss of green space and the overprovision of housing.

Councillors voiced further concerns overs traffic management around the site, the proximity of some of the houses on the southern edge of the site to Schoolhill, as well as the loss of some trees.

In his report to councillors, planning officer Rory Hume addressed such issues, but failed to compromise, on calls for the retention of a pedestrian crossing on Golf Road.

He offered to include four new dropped-kerb crossings on Golf Road, west of Schoolhill, and two at the bottom of the site, The Press and Journal reports.

Ellon councillor Isobel Davidson said she was “generally happy” with the plans and commended the scheme’ s layout and “traditional” street front style. She said: “I don’t have a particular issue with trees being removed to allow this to be better integrated with the town.

“But I do have a big problem with the complete removal of the pedestrian crossing. That’s a very bad move.”

Councillor Anouk Kloppert put forward a motion to refuse the plans. She said: “It is with great hesitation that I do this, but we need to make more efforts, as a council, to keep to our environmental, climate change, travel policies.

“I don’t find it acceptable to remove the green space in this part of the development.”

Her counterpart Gillian Owen supported that call, adding: “Dropped kerbs do not have the same safety status as crossings on a road and I find it really difficult to understand that a section of open space with trees that have been there for many, many years, and enjoyed by everyone in and around Ellon, can be removed.”

Committee chairwoman Ms Davidon proposed that the committee approve the plans but “with a caveat that we should look again at the pedestrian crossing ”. In response, the commitee voted eight to three in favour.

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