Number of housing projects approved throughout Aberdeenshire

Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee has decided on a number of planning applications involving new homes across the region.

The committee approved a delegated grant for the council’s own application for the erection of 12 affordable houses and flats to the south of the Kinbroom House sheltered housing unit at Rothienorman. Concerns had been raised by the community around drainage and flooding issues, but council officers said Scottish Water reported no issues with accepting foul water at its treatment plant.

The council’s planning and environment service was of a view that the material considerations warranted a departure from Policy R2 in that the housing is affordable and would meet an identified and unmet need for such properties both within Rothienorman and the wider area.

Councillors unanimously welcomed plans for the creation of 13 short-term letting accommodation units near Rhynie. Planners said the proposed lodges and associated infrastructure on the former quarry site were served by passing public transport, would be well related to the settlement of Rhynie and nearby tourist attractions and would be of an acceptable siting, layout and design which was respectful to the site. Councillors did, however, seek the inclusion of a ‘travel plan’ as a condition of the delegated grant.

Elsewhere, members approved a delegated grant for the change of use of the former Lairhillock Lodge at Netherley to create five new homes – including one affordable unit. Originally opened back in 2010, the purpose-built 25-bedroom guest house – closed since last March - had succumbed to a number of economic pressures including the downturn in the oil and gas industry, creation of additional hotel accommodation in the city and the closure of the neighbouring pub. Councillors approved the application subject to a number of conditions and delegated matters which include the provision of a safe walking route to neighbouring Lairhillock School.

Meanwhile, the committee went against planners’ recommendations and approved the erection of a single house in a gap site at ‘Bridgestone, Millbreck, Clola.

Officers said the application was in significant conflict with the current Local Development Plan in that there was no criteria under Policy R2 to add a further house within the connected group of seven houses close to the site as the scope for growth had already been met. Councillors heard that the Buchan area committee had unanimously agreed to refer the matter to infrastructure services committee for final determination, considering that the proposal was an acceptable departure from the Local Development Plan given it would complete the site and improve the amenity of the surrounding area.

While it was noted there was no policy support for the proposal, the ISC chair said there had been a clear and reasoned argument for approval which the committee unanimously endorsed.

The agenda and documents for the meeting can be found here and the full recorded webcast can be viewed here or below.

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