Green light given for Banchory development despite objections

Councillors have given their support to luxury hotel and housing development plans.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 8:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 8:21 am
Councillors have given their support for the development.

Kirkwood Homes is looking to add an extra ten residential units to its previously approved 85 at Inchmarlo, Banchory.

The phases of development have also been amended and councillors were asked to support the changes at the Marr Area Committee last week.

The development, which included plans for a 75-bedroom hotel, golf course and housing, was approved by the committee in 2011 however the plan was amended in 2015 with the golf course removed.

As part of Phase 1, 70 houses will be built, of which 30 will be affordable, that will be delivered alongside or in advance of the proposed £30m Lucullan hotel.

Phase 2 would see construction of 15 housing units, lodges would be built as part of Phase 3 and the final phase would see the creation of ten executive housing units.

A separate application for the hotel, spa and lodges is expected to be submitted to Aberdeenshire Council by the end of the month.

Allan Rae, land director at Kirkwood Homes revealed the affordable units would be built first, hopefully by 2022 or 2023 subject to planning permission.

He added: “Delivery of the project will provide significant economic benefit to the local and regional economy.”

Banchory Community Council expressed a “very strong” objection to the development.

Mary Lennox, on behalf of the Community Council, said: “Our concern is that this is at its core a housing development. It feels like the hotel is a carrot being dangled before our noses which is likely to be snatched away if a condition that the hotel is built first is not renewed.”

Councillor Paul Gibb said he “struggled” to support the application as he said conditions had “changed significantly” since the plans were first considered.

Councillor Gwyneth Petrie, in support of the application, said: “We can’t change that the development will happen, all we can change here is what they have asked and I don’t think that any of us would deny the affordable housing aspect of this.”

The application will be referred to the Infrastructure Services Committee for determination.