Plans for new flats rejected

Councillors have knocked back plans to demolish a workshop in Torphins and build 12 flats in its place.

Applicants Station Garage, in Torphins, wished to erect the flats on the site of their workshop in The Square along with associated parking and landscaping.

Councillors voted 7-3 in favour of refusal at a meeting of the Marr Area Committee in Alford Public Hall on Tuesday (December 13).

Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside councillor Rosemary Bruce put forward a motion to refuse, which was seconded by Jill Webster.

Speaking after the meeting, Mrs Webster explained why she had voted against the plans.

She said: “In my view, the current proposal is clearly overdevelopment of the site and is of a scale which would significantly affect the amenity of other residents and not be in keeping with this area of Torphins.

“The loss of a significant number of substantial trees and the car parking arrangements would also need to be revisited.

“The site is very suitable for a residential development and I would encourage the applicant to resubmit plans for a more appropriate development addressing the concerns of residents, the planning officers and councillors.”

Objector Brian Adams, who attended the meeting in Alford, felt that the majority of residents who lived near Station Road were against the plans.

“The people I have spoken to have said they are relieved with the decision to refuse the plans,” Mr Adams said.

Mr Adams, who himself lives on Station Road, said he would be happy for the developers to come back with revised plans.

“I am looking forward to the Station Garage coming back with a new proposal but it would have to be on a smaller scale, with a smaller ‘footprint’, and it cannot stomp over the areas which are valued by residents.”

In a letter to the applicant’s agent Matthew Merchant, Aberdeenshire Council planner James Wheater stated: “The proposal represents overdevelopment of a small site which cannot comfortably accomodate this scale of development.

“It is suggested that a smaller scale proposal may avoid many of the issues arising from this proposal.”

As reported in last week’s Piper, a total of 14 representations were received by Aberdeenshire Council.

Mary Ellmers, who lives in Station Road, Torphins, had told the Piper last week how although many residents would welcome such a conversion, the size and ‘footprint’ of the development as it currently stood had brought dismay.

“This area is currently a grassy and treelined corner which is much-valued by residents,” she had said. “Many people walk through here and it is a lovely, safe area for children to play in and it is much used by everyone.”

When contacted by the Piper on Wednesday (December 14), the applicant’s agent was unavailable for comment.