More than 70 people attended a public exhibition detailing plans for upto 50 new homes in an Aberdeenshire village.
The proposals by Sauchen-based housing developer Kirkwood Homes, in conjunction with Stewart Milne Homes, could see the homes - in various styles and including ‘affordable’ flats - built on land to the east of Main Street, Sauchen.
The site has been the subject of consultation via the Local Development Plan process and has been allocated in the Proposed Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan.
Feedback forms were available at the event for people to give their opinions on the proposed development.
Allan Rae, Land Director, Kirkwood Homes Ltd, said: We were delighted with the turnout at the exhibition and extremely encouraged by the feedback that we received. What was evident is the community’s desire to sustain local services, particularly the primary school.
“We believe these proposals, which are sympathetically designed to provide a natural extension to the village, can facilitate these and indeed the communities’ wider aspirations.”
“Kirkwood Homes Ltd and Stewart Milnes Homes will continue to liaise with the local community as these proposals progress.
“The next step will be to shortly provide feedback to the community on the key points raised at the exhibition, and where appropriate, amendments made to the proposals to address these issues.”
Sauchen resident Elaine Smith, 34, said: “Sauchen is a lovely, safe place to live but it cannot keep expanding without addressing the facilities which it badly needs. I think people reluctantly accept that further house building is almost inevitable but this would be a smaller pill to swallow if we could see that it would be really beneficial for helping us build a community.
“A donation is apparently being made to the school and also to the council for building a path from the village but, as far as I understand it, this is all that is being done. We were informed that there was a space allocated for a retail development such as a small shop, but this has been set aside for some time and, indeed, I don’t think people would consider this to be a priority.
“What we really need is a village hall or similar, where members of the community can get together regardless of their age or circumstances.”
A neighbouring resident said: “I’m not sure flats are the right thing for a small country village. I don’t have any objection to having affordable housing - but flats?”
Another village resident added: “I’m not in favour of the development proposal to include two-storey flats. This is not in-keeping with the surrounding house styles.
“With 45 plots, this development is twice as large as any previous developments in Sauchen and ‘could take two-and-a-half to three years to complete,’ according to the Kirkwood land director. Past Stewart Milne developments have been approx 25 houses/development at a time, I think.
“From the site plan, it can be seen that in the same length of land, six houses in Main Street, built in the 70s, will now back on to 10 Kirkwood houses.
“I also hope the river doesn’t flood. In 13 years, I’ve never seen it burst its banks, but it’s been close.”