Councillor on a mission to help save residents money

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A local councillor is aiming to raise awareness about a little known policy which can save park dwellers money building their own affordable home.

Councillor Geva Blacket is the only Aberdeenshire councillor living in the Cairngorms National Park.

She said this week: ‘‘If you are building just one small house you are classified as a ‘developer’.

‘‘In Policy 19 of the Cairngorms National Park’s Local Plan, paragraph 4.47 of the supporting text states: ‘The contribution would be waived where the developer can demonstrate that the occupant of the house would qualify to access a form of affordable housing within the park by reason of their housing need or income.’

“That paragraph clearly intends that people who would otherwise qualify for social housing, who have saved up enough money to build their own house, should not be penalised by planning gain contributions to affordable housing.

‘‘It is absolutely vital that anyone living in the Park area wanting to build an ‘affordable’ house should speak to the CNPA housing officer – Rachel Danemann - 01479 870555 or email racheldanemann@cairngorms.co.uk.

‘‘Make sure your agent/architect is aware of this.

‘‘Be prepared to demonstrate when submitting the application that you are on the housing list and that your income is relatively modest.

‘‘Once again, Rachel will guide you.”