Braehead appeal lodged

The proposed housing development at Braehead has run into strong local opposition
The proposed housing development at Braehead has run into strong local opposition

The refusal of plans for a controversial 300-house development in Banchory is to be challenged.

An appeal to the Scottish Government has been tabled by the developer against Aberdeenshire Council’s rejection of the proposed scheme at Braehead, to the south of the town.

Just as people have the right to object we, as developers, have the right to appeal

Developer’s Spokesman

Councillors in April turned down an application by Sandlaw Farming Company - which attracted more than 600 objections and had run into opposition from planners.

Earlier, Marr Area Committee also threw out the plans and a similar application for 400 houses at the location was refused in June last year. The applicant is seeking permission in principle for 200 private rented properties, 75 affordable and 25 assisted living units, along with community uses.

Following the latest rejection of the project, campaigners against the scheme urged the developers to listen to the local community.

But a spokesman for Sandlaw said this week that the company had every right to challenge the decision.

Confirming the appeal, he told the Piper: “It is part of the planning process.

“Just as people have the right to object we, as developers, have the right to appeal.

“We are making a very robust response to the reasons given by the council for refusing permission.”

The spokesman added that they were emphasising the importance of the rented housing they were offering under their proposals, particularly in view of the teaching shortage in the North-east.

Community action group Stop Scolty Redevelopment say the case highlights the challenges which are continually faced by the public when trying to engage with the planning system.

Spokesman Mike Adams said: “As a community in Banchory we have enthusiastically taken part in the Local Development Plan process and have consistently supported appropriate development in the community.

“This development has been clearly shown to be in the wrong location and has been resoundingly rejected at every stage of consultation.

“Despite this we have faced repeat planning pplications, repeat appeals and even an ongoing appeal against the emerging LDP.”

Community leaders say they are disappointed the company has chosen to appeal the unanimous decision to refuse the application.

Mary Lennox, chair of Banchory Community Council, said: “As a community council we are not against development per se, but do feel that this one would have an adverse effect on Banchory and the surrounding area.

“Once developed an area which means a great deal to local people and indeed to visitors would be lost for good and an area of environmental importance would be damaged.

“We hope that the Scottish Government will respect the wishes of local people and realise with most Banchory residents that this is the wrong development in the wrong place at the wrong time.”