New town masterplan revealed

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DETAILED plans for a new town near Portlethen have been sent to 5000 homes in the area.

The Chapelton of Elsick masterplan, which was developed as a two-week public charrette in September and October last year, has been introduced to the public in a 24-page post-charrette paper and distributed to houses in the Portlethen and Newtonhill area.

The Elsick Development Company, the firm behind Chapelton, is sending out the latest information to the same households that were invited to the charrette itself – an intensive workshop where the design team worked with experts in relevant fields, Aberdeenshire Council and the public to produce the masterplan.

An exhibition for all members of the public to see the plans will take place on March 30 and 31 in Cookney Village Hall. The doors will be open from 2pm – 9pm on March 30 and 10am – 8pm the following day.

The developers say they are hoping to create a people-friendly, mixed use community at Chapelton, to mark a departure from current development practice and offer an alternative to the single-use housing estates, which have become standard across the UK. The new town has been designed to meet the requirement for 4045 new homes in the Portlethen - Stonehaven corridor by 2023.

Located 10 miles south of Aberdeen, to the west of Newtonhill, the site is the preferred location of Aberdeenshire Council for a new settlement. Councillors backed the scheme’s inclusion in the proposed local development plan in order to try and avoid piecemeal development of existing towns and villages.

Chapelton has been designed by Miami-based urban designers Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, and the firm’s principal, Andres Duany, led the autumn charrette. The company has received numerous international awards for architecture and design excellence and is currently involved in projects in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Haiti.

Mr Duany said: “The Chapelton site was a pleasure to work with as the neighbourhood structures and integrated transport system were immediately obvious to the design team and our original plan stood up to close scrutiny throughout. With the charrette based on the site we were able to study the topography and feature closely and we have ensured that we have retained all the local features and traces on the land within the masterplan.”

Lord Southesk of the Elsick Development Company added: “We are excited by the results of the intensive masterplanning process, which has produced a robust plan in a remarkably short timescale and in full public view.

“This is only the first stage of the process and there will be further refinement as a result of public consultation through exhibitions in the spring.”

He continued: “It was a pleasure to witness the DPZ team working together with members of the public and statutory undertakers to produce the masterplan for Chapelton. The architects propose an inspiring range of houses in good North-east Scottish style, both traditional and contemporary.

“Mixing housing of every type with retail and other facilities will give people the opportunity to live, work and play in the area with less reliance on the car which is better for the planet, pocket and peace of mind.”

The Elsick Development Company is a family-run company, representing the Duke of Fife and neighbouring landowners, covering 2000 acres in the vicinity of Portlethen and Newtonhill.