Crathes homes plan comes under fire

Crathes residents David Morrish and Ann Ross are strongly opposed to the latest homes plan
Crathes residents David Morrish and Ann Ross are strongly opposed to the latest homes plan

Opposition is growing to plans for further housing at Crathes.

The Stewart Milne Group is proposing additional properties at The Gardens at Crathes - but the move has angered Crathes, Drumoak and Durris Community Council and nearby residents.

It is a strongly-held community view that this application makes no sense

David Morrish Crathes Resident

The community council has set up a special working group to examine the application.

The development was intially refused in 2013 but given the go-ahead on appeal by the Scottish Reporter, who outlined a list of requirements following the local development plan of limiting the expansion of Crathes to a maximum of 45 houses, including 10 affordable homes.

Fresh proposals take the number of houses to 69, with an additional six affordable properties.

At a public consultation earlier this summer the developer was encouraged to complete the site as intended and possibly convert the remainder of the 45 homes not built to smaller and less expensive properties.

Local resident David Morrish said: “We’ve held at least two public meetings of our own and each one has been attended by more than 40 people, so that illustrates the strength of feeling.

“It is a strongly-held community view that this application makes no sense.”

Another resident, Ann Ross, said; “I’m not against change or development, but you need to have infrastucture.”

Local people are also concerned at a delay in the provision of amenities, the condition of the pavement near the development, which they say is a road safety hazard, and the need to address local drainage issues.

Meanwhile, the company has defended the project.

John Low, Stewart Milne Homes managing director, said: “Market demand has changed over time and our proposed plans for Crathes are aimed at providing desirable homes which meet consumers’ needs and level of affordability, in an area that is highly sought after and ideal for family living.

“As we know, first time buyers and young families find it difficult to find homes to suit their needs within Deeside with many forced to leave the area due to limited availability.

“Our proposals will bring homes to Crathes which, up until now, has not catered for this need with a suitable range of house sizes and styles which on completion will ensure a more diverse and vibrant community.”

The deadline for public comment on the proposals is today (Thursday).