142 houses at Carron Den refused

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Councillors in Stonehaven have turned down an application to build 142 homes at Carron Den.

Planning approval has already been granted for Stewart Milne Homes to build 109 houses on the site, but the developer now wants to build 155 homes there, “due to changes in the housing market”, with an increased propoertion of two and three bedroom properties and a reduction in five bedroom properties.

Objections to the proposals included concerns over the impact that the increased houses would have on traffic management, as well as the impact on education, leisure and medical facilities in Stonehaven. Other concerns were raised about the overall revised design and layout of the settlement.

Aberdeenshire Council planning officers had reccommended that the plans be approved, arguing that amenities in Stonehaven ican cope with an extra 42 homes, saying that the overall impact of the increase would be “fairly minor”.

Councillors voted eight to three to refuse the application, on the grounds that a 40% increase of houses was a significant departure from the original application, traffic issues, and concerns about the new design and layout.

Speaking at the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee meeting on Tuesday, Councillor Sarah Dickinson said: “I don’t consider a near 50% increase as a “minor departure” from the original application. It is a significant increase. These developments have a cumulative impact on Stonehaven and it is unacceptable without us seeing a change in what is provided in the town in terms of leisure facilities, as well as other facilities.

Councillor Colin Pike commented: “We have to include an element of common sense here. We have a developer who has approval for 109 houses. The houses aren’t selling, as they are too expensive. The officers claim these new houses meet current needs - we are an ageing population, but there are no bungalows in these plans. The developer has got it wrong. We cannot absorb 142 new houses here. We are being asked to approve something that is wrong and the planning department is not here to get developers out of trouble.”

Area Committee Chair Wendy Agnew agreed, adding: “This is 32 more houses. It puts increased pressure on the medical centre, dentist, and leisure centre. I feel that 142 is too many for the town. With the added housing this will no longer be an award winning designed hamlet, there will be too many houses crammed in to the space.”