Flat plan draws objections from Torphins residents

Plans to demolish a workshop in Torphins and build 12 flats in its place have drawn objections from local residents.

Applicants Station Garage, in Torphins, wish to erect the flats on the site of their workshop in The Square along with associated parking and landscaping. The application is due to be discussed by members of the Marr Area Committee at their meeting at Alford Public Hall on Tuesday (December 13).

Objector Mary Ellmers, of Station Road, Torphins, said: “While many residents, would welcome such a conversion, the size and ‘footprint’ of the development as it currently stands has brought dismay.

“The proposal is for 12 flats in a building three-storeys high and to accomodate parking (ie one car per flat), the developer is planning to convert a piece of land - outside the existing site which is currently part of the old Station Road track and used by many pedestrians and children on their way to school, and part of the pleasant grassy area and the entrance to Station Road (West) - into a car park.

“This will also mean the felling of several trees, some of which are mature trees. This area is currently a grassy and treelined corner which is much valued by residents. Many people walk through here and it is a lovely, safe area for children to play in and it is much used by everyone.”

In a letter to the applicant’s agent Matthew Merchant, Aberdeenshire Council planner James Wheater states: “The proposal represents overdevelopment of a small site which cannot comfortably accommodate this scale of development. It is suggested that a smaller scale proposal may avoid many of the issues arising from this proposal.”

A total of 14 representations have been received by Aberdeenshire Council. Mr & Mrs Tuck, of St Marnan Road, Torphins, said in one representation that the proposal, as shown, was “ugly and is not in-keeping with the current residential aspect of the village...the development places the very heart of this village at risk.”

Another resident, Sylvia Simpson, said the proposal will “cause unacceptable parking problems in Station Road, which is currently safe for children to play in due to the high level of off-street parking we have in the road.”

Robert Brown, of Station Road, Torphins, said: “As I look out onto the proposed site I feel the building you are proposing is too high for the surrounding area and also it plans incorporating part of the grassy area in front of my property for parking purposes.”

Ms Ellmers said: “Some local residents have concerns about the process that has enabled the application to progress this far. Questions are being asked about the grassy, treelined area, previously owned by the council. This appears to have been sold to the developer with none of the residents being aware. One resident said that he would have like to have had a chance to buy the land if it had gone on sale, but the residents were never given that opportunity.”