Councillors back 395 home development

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Plans for a 395-home development at Hill of Banchory south were backed by councillors at a Marr Area Committee meeting last week.

Members agreed on the general layout of the development, which is being proposed by North Banchory Company Ltd and Bancon Group.

Getting the green light means the local developers can now proceed with attempting to obtain planning permission for the site.

The proposals are for 395 homes, as well as a full-size football pitch, a park and ride facility, playing fields and shops.

Provost of Aberdeenshire, Jill Webster, said: “I welcome the new approach of the masterplan.

‘‘The lack of adequate infrastructure associated with developments has been an issue for a long time and the Masterplan is an opportunity to ensure this is planned for up front. However I did raise several issues which needed to be addressed.

“The masterplan must more fully address the delivery of the new relief distributor road and, in particular, roads improvements, and the new roundabout must be delivered on Raemoir Road before the development planned for that vicinity is completed.

“The Home Zone approach to reduce the dominance of the car is welcome with a network of paths and green spaces within the development and giving access to the wider countryside, but we must ensure there is not a shortage of adequate parking-a problem we have encountered before.

“There will be a significant amount of open space which is fantastic but the maintenance regime must be fully covered.

“Our Local Development Plan requirement for additional football pitches must be planned for and delivered in addition to the fantastic new rugby pitches which we already have.”

Concerns were raised over the capacity of the Banchory Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Cllr. Webster added: “We must ensure an adequate assessment on the River Dee Special Area of Conservation is done on the increased water extraction from the Dee which will be required.”

Cllr Karen Clark, chair of the Social Work and Housing Committee, said: “In terms of affordable housing, the council will be looking for the appropriate level of social housing delivered in accordance with planning policy.

‘‘Also, for a development on this scale it is likely that contributions to health and medical facilities in the town will be sought but this will be negotiated through developer obligations and is not something that elected members get involved in.

“The level of detail around such developer contributions will be detailed in the Planning Permission in Principle application which it’s hoped will come to the Marr Area Committee on May 5.”