Appeal for extra Portlethen houses rejected

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An appeal which could have seen up to 260 extra houses built at Hillside in Portlethen has been turned down by councillors.

Members of Kincardine and Mearns area committee voted to reject the application by Stewart Milne Homes for removal of a condition which dictated that they could only build 840 homes on the land.

Aberdeenshire Council officers had backed the application, despite concerns over a lack of infrastructure in the area, particularly problems with education provision.

Delays over the building of a new primary school in the area has led to the existing Portlethen Primary School becoming over capacity.

Councillors also argued that the new town at Chapelton will provide much of the housing needed for the area.

Had the housing developer won their appeal, they might have been allowed an additional 260 homes to be built with the possibility of the new Hillside School, which has a planned opening of August 2016, being over capacity within a year afterwards.

North Kincardine Councillor Ian Mollison said: “The reporter agreed with the Kincardine and Mearns area committee that the impact on local schooling was a sound reason for refusing the application. I was very concerned about the impact on local primary schools and welcome this outcome.

“Portlethen primary schools will be facing a challenging few years until the new primary in Hillside is opened.”

A consultation event was held earlier this month to allow residents to see plans for the new school. Fears have been raised that the site on which the school is to be built is too small, with not enough room for extension.

The community school will cater for 355 pupils with a core facility for 540 in total.