Committee refuses Ballater homes application

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Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) planning committee has turned down plans for 26 affordable homes in Ballater.

Planning officers had recommended approval of the application to convert the old school building in the village.

Plans by Grampian Housing Association had involved the conversion of the Abergeldie Road property – which dates back to 1877 – into 10 homes, with new houses proposed within the school yard, along with 11 flats and the redevelopment of two other buildings to create a further two homes.

In a report to the committee, planning officer Katherine Donnachie outlined her reasons for approving the application.

She said: “This site is particularly well located in terms of access to the facilities and amenities of Ballater and the proposal is an excellent use of a redundant site.

“To have a listed building of architectural and historical importance brought back into productive use is also extremely positive.”

A number of objectors addressed the meeting.

While agreeing with the need for affordable housing and the principle of the application, they all expressed concern over the proposed access and the density of properties on the site.

Planning committee members attended a site visit before the committee meeting.

After some debate on the issues, they agreed unanimously to refuse the application on the grounds of access, density, amenity and road safety.