Christmas disappointment for Hillside residents

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Residents from Hillside in Portlethen were left disappointed this week when the Portlethen Christmas tree was put up and decorated and they were left without the tree they had been promised to attempt to bring a sense of community to the new area.

Recently, the Portlethen and District Community Council had offered the residents of Hillside a Christmas tree and lights to bring a bit of festive cheer. The tree had been ordered, cut and set for delivery to an area that Stewart Milne Homes said the community could use for the tree but problems with electricity permission meant the tree had to be cancelled and could not be put up - or it could, but it would not be illuminated.

Aberdeenshire Council have a policy where only one tree is allowed per area, but this had been already put aside in this instance and it was the power that was proving to be a problem.

Power to the area in which the Christmas tree was to be located deemed to be difficult and the location may need to be looked at for future festive periods, as something may be built in the planned location such as shops or a school.

A spokesman for Aberdeenshire Council said: “The roads and street lighting at Hillside have not yet been adopted by Aberdeenshire Council.

“This means the provision of power for a Christmas tree is currently the responsibility of the developer.

“We are aware that the residents of Hillside would like a Christmas tree in their community and we are hopeful that this should be possible.

“Discussions are under way between the council and the developer with a view to achieving what the community is looking for.”

North Kincardine Councillor Alison Evison said: “I have been working hard to make this tree possible and had secured permission from the council for Portlethen to have two trees this year, one of which would be at Hillside.

“It is a real pity that the solution seems to have come too late, especially when the Community Council had been so keen to provide a tree for Hillside. It would have been an excellent focal point at this time of year.”

There also seems to be a problem with the Christmas lights for the lampposts on the main link road through Hillside as the lampposts are made out of a material that is designed to crumble if a car hits it to lessen the impact. Although the lampposts can carry the weight of the lights, they require holes to be drilled in them for the power supply which could cause the lamppost to crumble, meaning the lights are planned to be put up in other streets in Hillside.