Local healthcare “will not suffer”

Representatives from the Elsick Development Company put local minds at rest by inviting them to see and hear the latest development changes that have occurred in their designs.

The development company held their latest public exhibition at Cookney Village Hall on Friday where the public were invited to have a look at detailed plans for the Chapelton of Elsick.

Aberdeenshire Council recently approved the development framework and the first phase of the masterplan for the new 4,045 home community.

Many residents from Portlethen and Newtonhill had raised concerns about current medical centres and schools and the impact the first phase of the development, 802 homes, would have on their present facilities.

However at the exhibition, Lord Southesk, director of the Elsick Development Company said that if anything, it would make the healthcare system in the area stronger and he emphasised how important the inclusion of schools are in the masterplan.

Lord Southesk said “education is extremely important to us and we are keen to build good schools as soon as possible. If there’s a school nearby, people are more likely to buy homes in the area, and the more demand there is for homes, the more demand there is for education. We want to build good schools because it’ll encourage people to the area if there is great education available nearby.”

Healthcare has also been a big issue for the people of the surrounding area. Concerns were mainly made about the pressure the new town would put on Portlethen Medical Centre. Lord Southesk said they hope to work alongside Portlethen Medical Centre by setting up a satellite medical centre within the new town until there is more demand for a bigger facility. He said if anything this will improve the medical care available at the Portlethen centre rather than having a negative impact as it will open the practice up to more opportunities as it will be serving more people and a bigger area.

Developers have also been looking at a potential underpass at the Bourtreebush junction in Portlethen instead of their initial flyover plan. The underpass would see a stretch of the current A90 staying at its present level with any work going on underneath the dual carriageway.

The Elsick Development Company will put their final application before councillors in the Autumn, and if all goes to plan, they are likely to start digging in Spring 2013 and building the first home in late 2013 or early 2014.