Neighbours are asking: What’s the ‘storey?’

The view from Ann Barclay's house.

The view from Ann Barclay's house.

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Planning alterations to a new-build property in Laurencekirk have caused local residents to claim they have been left in the dark.

Originally, neighbour notifications were handed out, indicating the new house in Blackiemuir avenue would be a one-and-a-half storey building.

The view from the street.

The view from the street.

This conforms to other properties in the vicinity, and no objections were received by Aberdeenshire Council.

Once construction started, however, neighbours claim they were ‘‘shocked’’ to see a two-storey building taking shape.

The house under construction has affected the amount of sunlight received by the neighbouring property and caused concerns about privacy once it is completed and occupied.

The owners of that property, Mr and Mrs Barclay, contacted Aberdeenshire Council to express their concerns and ask why neither they, nor the other notifiable neighbours, had received notice of the extra height and size being added?

In a written reply, the team manager (development management), explained that everything had been carried out in accordance with Scottish Government planning legislation and the application was advertised in the Mearns Leader on March 4, 2014.

He also suggested that, as none of the neighbours had received the notification sent out, ‘a problem has arisen with the Royal Mail in some way.’

He supplied the application reference number, suggesting it could be checked on the councils planning website.

The closest edition of the Leader was March 7, and neither it, nor the immediately preceding or subsequent issues, contained the planning notice.

When we checked the application reference number on the website, it referred to a bothy extension in Inverurie.

A neighbour on the other side of the property, Mr Burnett, said: “Since the original hand-delivered notifications, we’ve heard absolutely nothing and it just seems like the democratic process has not been followed.”