Next stop Pannanich Road

Plans for the Ballater bus depot site
Plans for the Ballater bus depot site

Ballater is set to get a new bus depot after members of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) gave planning permission at a committee meeting held in the village today (Friday, December 19).

The new depot will be located on Ballater’s Pannanich Road and will mean that the applicant, Bluebird Buses, can maintain its regular bus services in the area and retain jobs locally.

The entrance to the new bus depot

The entrance to the new bus depot

Members of the CNPA planning committee took part in a site visit prior to their meeting held at the Albert Hal.

Concerns were raised regarding flooding and noise but conditions have been included in the planning consent to ensure that these issues are addressed. These include the addition of a further condition to explore appropriate fencing to mitigate noise and protect the amenity of surrounding houses.

There was a motion to defer the application but subsequently members voted 7 – 2 in favour of the planning officer’s recommendation.

Planning Officer Fiona Murphy said: “SEPA and Aberdeenshire Council’s Environmental Health Officer do not object to the development so long as various conditions are applied. In relation specifically to noise, this would include reversing alarms only being used during the hours of 7am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and they would be switched off at all other times and bus washing will only be carried out during normal working hours.

“With the noise and flooding issues addressed through conditions, the application meets with the policies in the Cairngorms National Park Local Plan and I therefore recommend it for approval.”

Planning Committee Convener Eleanor Mackintosh said: “Sustainable transport is extremely important in a National Park and as the Park Authority we are keen to promote the use of public transport for residents and visitors. This development will help secure bus services in the Ballater area in the long-term and for that reason I support the application for a new bus depot in the village.”

The move follows the granting of planning permission to turn the existing bus depot on Golf Road into a supermarket.

The full planning paper is available at http://cairngorms.co.uk/park-authority/planning/planning-papers.