Residents in Laurencekirk have hit out at Aberdeenshire Council’s “inconsideration” over the building of a block of flats.
Shaun May, whose home on Ruddiman Drive in Laurencekirk backs on to the new flat development, has expressed his frustration at the new buildings.
He explained that when they purchased their home, they were told that the land at the back of it was set to be developed and that bungalows, which would not be higher then their new home, would be built. However when a planning application was lodged, what was instead planned was a tower of flats.
He said: “Every single person in the area objected when the planning application was put forward.” Despite this, Mr May explains that the development was given the go-ahead, with only Councillor George Carr objecting to the plans. Mr May found this surprising as he said: “It is suppose to be a democratic country.”
Mr May described the building which towers over his home as “imposing” and explained how his children aged seven and nine, no longer liked going into the backgarden because of the building. He said the development had caused him and his wife to worry over their backgardens safety as chunks of concrete had fallen from the site onto where his children have play equipment.
The development comes very close to his back fence, with builders having attached a hose to the May families fence, without permission. Mr May said he cannot in fact get near his back fence for safety reasons due to scaffolding which has been put up. He voiced his confusion over the use of scaffolding over the garden of a private property where children play.
The building behind Mr May’s home also has a doorway and window which he claims were not in the original plans and which look into the families kitchen and dining room.
Mr May explains that these are not concerns held only by his family, but that his neighbours and the entire street fee; the same way.
He said: “I am speaking for everyone around here. The issues we have are one- the height of the building. Two- they are really close to where we are and imposing . Three- we were told they would be bungalows and four - there has been a massive devaluation of our houses.”
In terms of devaluation, Mr May said a number of people in the area are trying to sell their homes but are having issues doing so.
When contacted about the development, Aberdeenshire Council Planning department said: “we have received some complaints from neighbouring residents, and the planning team have been out and inspected the site and we have checked with our architects as to whether there are any deviations from the approved plans, the development is being built as outlined in the planning application.”
Aberdeenshire Council highlighted that they have strict procedures to be followed and as part of the routine monitoring of developments, the works that are on-going, are being checked and that if any issues arise, as is normal practice, these will be investigated further.