This weeks letters to the editor. Send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org
Madam- It is sad to learn that the Council whom we trust to maintain the special feeling which we Stonehaven residents have concerning the Black Hill which can be seen from the north or south entry to Stonehaven.
Why were their plans not open to public viewing?
Surely the Council can expand their site at Redcloak? I pray that this plan will not be permitted to go ahead.
Mrs M.J. Kelman
7 Turner’s Court
EDITOR’S NOTE: Aberdeenshire Council have said that there will be an opportunity for public comment, see front page story.
Response to ‘Community Council backs supermarket bid’ (Mearns Leader August 14)
Madam- Delighted to see support from the Community Council. Perhaps it’s a step towards the end of the repeated rejections based on obsessive observance of ‘town centre first’ guidelines of planning applications for supermarket initiatives, that have made Stonehaven the only significant town without one or more large supermarkets (at no detriment to their centres) with a “retail leakage” of 70, yes seventy percent.
The objections recorded on the Council website comprise the familiar and the predictable.
Developers who have previously been rejected; one feels sorry for them, but if their schemes are no longer on the table let’s for goodness’ sake progress one that is.
Stonehaven Town Partnership, which as regards retail grocery supports redevelopment of the recreation amenities into an inadequate ‘metro’-sized outlet.
With breathtaking gall: the Co-op which describes itself in current advertising as “little and often” but still seeks to defend its unhealthy monopoly against a meaningful mainstream shopping outlet; and the BP filling station far away at the other end of the town.
A very small handful of nearby residents who anticipate being affected and one at least of whom states ‘the town needs a big supermarket, but not here’.
As to identifying ‘material considerations’ to support a departure from the guidelines in the Local Plan: there’s a large amount of new housing but the majority of the increasing population continues to have to travel elsewhere for grocery shopping, as a result of which people are not in Stonehaven to support the town centre. How does that chime with the town centre first concept? How can denying so many people what they want be an appropriate delivery of local democracy? What does a policy that in effect supports other towns, not even necessarily in the same Council area, do for Stonehaven?
Dr Stirks letter
Madam - In support of Dr Chris Stirks letter regarding East Newtonleys I - with the writers permission present an email sent to me in response to what had been written by Dr Stirk.
“Good lord what are they thinking! The Mars bar thing was a debacle for sure and glad to hear it was righted by the public outcry. I well remember that sign and even mentioned it in my blog back when I was writing for the newspaper back home (Michigan USA). Those are the things to cherish about the town.
“As for Dunnottar and the memorial and the proposed development. They should be hogtied and shot for wreaking complete environmental, cultural and economic ruin on Stonehave. The walk along the cliff top is all about the rolling fields and rabbit warrens and cliffs and the rolling sea. It is what keeps the castle tucked safely within its tiny pocket of historic context, provides the authentic sense of time and place. Once ruined it can never be repaired. It will be utterly and thoroughly destroyed by such a development. You must stop it at all costs.”
I think Liz Foley who has visited this town twice already has put the case admirably. She has written a book on regeneration of small towns, so is well qualified to say it as she sees it. I hope the residents of Stonehaven will feel the same.
Name and address withheld
De-selection of MSP
Madam- Over the weekend the SNP de-selected two sitting MSP’s as candidates for the 2016 Holyrood elections. One of them was my North Angus MSP, Nigel Don. I have met Mr Don on many occasions and he has always been courteous, knowledgeable and has gone out of his way to be helpful, especially to a local Kenyan family.
Perhaps he has shown too many good traits to enable him to represent the people who voted for him. I can’t imagine he was proud of or impressed by the Cybernat antics of his colleagues, and I doubt if he has recovered from the humiliation of supporting the campaign to keep the Stonehaven Court open, only to be forced to vote for closure by his masters in the Parliament. I can only assume his replacement, Brechin Councillor Mairi Evans, ticks more of the the boxes required of SNP politicians these days, ie on obsession with independence and a second referendum, unthinking devotion to the party, ability to blame all Scotland’s ills on England and the Tories, and lack of depth when it comes to real knowledge and experience of the issues facing my country and how to deal with them.
An act of nebulism!
Madam- There has been a great deal of concern expressed in the Town over the incredible proposals from the Council for siting the waste Recycling Facility, and all Council heavy vehicles etc to a site a stone’s throw from our World famous Dunnottar Castle.
It is not a ‘fait accompli’, although the Council seems to have spent a lot on plans, and made their mind up where they want to develop, before any local consultation has taken place. I find it astounding that such a massive, insensitive development could be contemplated in such an iconic location, beside Stonehaven’s, and perhaps Aberdeenshire’s, most popular tourism attraction. The scale of the development is big, but with Bancon’s, it will be massive, and will be visible from miles around in almost every direction.
From a Tourism perspective it is appalling, and had it been some profit-hungry developer, it would have been much easier to understand, but this is an application from our own Aberdeenshire Council! It is difficult to understand why they have chosen this location, as they already have a very well developed recycling centre at Redcloak, with lots of land around it, which has already been blighted by what is already there. In addition, the Council has just spent who knows how many £100,000s in building a massive new building 20-30 feet tall, not yet completed. The Council’s logic baffles me. Why waste a beautiful location when they already have a ready-made site??
Then, I remembered, that Bancon is involved in this with the Council, and if the planning permission is granted, it will open up the wholesale development of Braehead, Easr Newtonleys and will be a Cornucopia of benefits for this development Company, who have had land here for ages, but needed someone to help open it up. This development should be opposed on a number of grounds. It will be very bad for tourism, endangering the attraction of Dunnottar Castle. It could have a very bad effect on the flooding of Stonehaven, despite the developers assurances. There is a better site already in existence at Redcloak. We as a town and area must make our views known loudly. A public meeting will be called soon, and I hope it is standing room only in the Town Hall, when the people of Stonehaven lets the Council officials, and our local representatives, our elected Councillors, know their views on this matter. Don’t let the Council waste one of the Town’s greatest assets!! We can make them change their minds.
Chairman Stonehaven Tourism Group