Letters to the Editor

Here are the letters sent to us this week that can be seen on page 10. If you have a letter you can e-mail it to news@mearnsleader.com or mail it to 12 Ann Street, AB39 2ER.

Blinded by the light - Planning formality?

Sir – In the letters page, Douglas Samways touched on light pollution regarding planning at the Mill Inn site .

Is he aware this “light pollution“ seems to just be a formality of planning?

In my opinion, elsewhere in town it is being totally ignored outwith times of operation and is spilling over others.

Does the planning enforcement officer not work after dark to back up the decisions of his colleagues and the wellbeing of other town dwellers?

Something for Douglas to get his teeth into, perhaps?

Why plan in the first place when it’s totally ignored.

If I’m not blinded by light I’ll be in town next week for a Leader.

Yours etc,.

‘Leader Reader Geordie’

(Name and address supplied via email)

Flyover Call - Hopefully 2015 is final chapter

Sir - Another step was due to be made yesterday (Wednesday) for the residents of the Howe o’ the Mearns and the 28,000 drivers who pass through the A937/A90 junction daily.

As the Observer went to press, a further public engagement was being held in the Dickson Hall, Station Road, Laurencekirk, from 2 to 8pm.

Laurencekirk community groups invited as many road users as possible to visit the event and comment on the new proposals.

Thanks to the efforts of Jill Fotheringham and her supporters, who organised petitions to the Scottish Government over the past decade and the members of the cross party capital and infrastructure committee of MSPs, we are approaching the publication date of the study by CH2M Hill to establish the best option to resolve this ever-growing problem at this junction.

Supported by the local community, community councils, Aberdeenshire and Angus Councils, MSPs, MPs and NESTRANS the time has come for Transport Scotland to respond positively to the results of this independent report.

Road users and all local residents can study the proposals which should improve road safety and return the public’s confidence in using this vital piece of Scotland’s infrastructure.

The challenges in crossing the dual carriageway have effectively deterred many drivers from using the road and has resulted in Transport Scotland applying a control order to prevent any major development in the wider area (including Montrose), until the problem is resolved.

The local economy has lost several existing businesses and customers - as well as being unable to offer sites to new or expanding ventures.

During the past six years the travel time to Aberdeen from Laurencekirk has increased by around 30% as a result of the increased volume of traffic during the peak hours from 6.30 to 8.30am.

Let us hope that 2015 will witness a new and final chapter in this long running saga so that Transport Scotland can realise its mission to reduce travel time between Scotland’s economic centres.

Yours etc,.

Mike Robson

Laurencekirk Development Trust

Stonehaven Harbour - In total agreement

Sir - I have never felt passionate enough to write a letter to the Leader before but I am in total agreement with Ian Balgowan.

Having been born at 90 High Street in the 1950s, most of my extended family have worked out of Stonehaven Harbour for many years and some still do.

I have taken many holiday makers from all parts of the world out in my boat for over the years. The one main reason that they come to Stonehaven is Dunnottar Castle and the harbour with its creels on the pier and rickety old sheds. This provides great photography for them to take home as most of them tell me the harbour is so unspoilt.

Stonehaven is open to the North Sea and its inevitable gales as seen in recent years and severity of storms are getting worse, so to make Stonehaven a safe harbour you would need a breakwater from the Point of Downie to the Carron Point.

Sure as a cat’s a hairy beast, two things will happen: you will go out in a box feet first and the sea will do what the sea wants to do.

Yours etc,.

Jim Malcolm

Stonehaven

Second Class - Recreation site

Sir - I was born and brought up in Stonehaven and intend to return in the near future.

In the meantime I have a caravan on the Recreation Site which means that I can enjoy the town and continue to contribute to it.

However, I feel like a second class citizen - not informed or consulted about Stonehaven town planners’ plans for the site despite having had a caravan there for some years. Do tenants have no rights?

I have just heard that Stonehaven town planners still have their beady eyes on the Recreation Grounds Caravan Park with the idea of removing the caravans and other leisure facilities to make way for a hotel - or supermarket - or some other such development.

As well as the possibility of losing my much loved caravan, I am also very upset at the prospect of Stonehaven losing its character. The fabulous harbour view from the south has already been spoiled because part of the road collapsed along with the cliffs. (This is not helped by ugly, brightly coloured barriers). Now, as you enter the town, the view from the north is in danger of becoming just like any other run of the mill town.

Stonehaven is a seaside resort. As they round the bend from the Aberdeen road, visitors see a swimming pool, caravan site, park, recreation ground.

Instead of spoiling the view, let’s brighten it up with a new fence round the site - maybe a bit of landscaping. The caravan owners contribute to the town. They regularly use the shops, restaurants, chippies, etc. Yet they have not been officially notified of meetings, plans, etc. It has all been word of mouth. Not fair.

There are other less obtrusive sites available for development.

Yours etc

Mary Murray

via email

Pavements - Please park responsibly

Sir - Cars that are parked irresponsibly on pavements can cause a potentially dangerous obstruction for pedestrians, as it can force them onto the road and into the path of vehicles.

Newly released research by YouGov has shown that three quarters (74%) of people are affected by vehicles parked on the pavement. Some groups – including people living with sight loss, older people or those with buggies – are at greater risk. Some 91% of respondents living with sight loss who responded to a Guide Dogs survey said that parked cars on the pavement regularly obstruct them.

You can see how dangerous pavement parking can be in real-life video footage, filmed from a guide dog’s view, of a guide dog and their owner having to go out into the road to get around a car at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMQt-cfEFsg

I am urging the public to ensure they don’t park on the pavement.

Yours etc,.

Lisa Irvine

via email