A planning permission in principle application has been submitted to Aberdeenshire Council for the controversial Kincluny Village development.
CHAP Group presented revised plans for the Park Quarry site in August at a special meeting of the Crathes, Drumoak and Durris Community Council (CDDCC), where locals could see the plans and voice concerns - which ranged from the project not being included in the Local Development Plan (LDP), to the risk of the village being a ghost town due to the downturn in oil.
Speaking last week, joint managing director Douglas Thomson said: “Over the last four years we have sought to carefully design a new village that places importance to the unique setting of the site as well as respect the character of the area. We believe that the Park Quarry site provides a real opportunity to regenerate a brownfield site in the heart of Deeside. There is urgent demand for family houses, of all types, across Aberdeenshire.
“There are not many sites that provide such a deliverable opportunity to address the current housing shortage, whilst ensuring the right infrastructure to support it, as that provided by the Kincluny Village proposals.”
The Kincluny Village proposal includes 1,500 new homes, a third of which are to be affordable, a village square, 10 acres of employment land, a community hub, and recreational space.
But Maxine Smith, vice chair of CDDCC, believes there were a few concerns raised at the public meeting which remain valid today.
She said: “For one, the proposed development is not factored in any way into the LDP, nor the social plans that have been made. The proposal is totally outwith Aberdeenshire Council’s agreed plan for areas that have been designated for development.
“The council spent local time and local money to develop that plan, so if a developer can come along and say no it is totally nonsensical.
“The second concern is with Park Quarry. The permission to quarry that land had a range of conditions attached. One was that at a designated time they were obligated to turn that site to its original form - and it’s time for it to be turned back to a brownfield site.”
Maxine also referenced other housing developments in Aberdeenshire where selling homes is getting more difficult.
“What’s the economic benefit in building these houses?” she asked. “Let alone the impact on the roads, let along the imact on Park Bridge.”