Review of the Year 2011

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JANUARY

2011 kicked off with the annual New Year ‘Dip with a Nip’ at Stonehaven harbour, raising thousands of pounds for charity as a result.

More than 50 people plunged themselves into the North Sea in a bid to raise money for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargeant.

Around £16,000 was raised, eclipsing the £12,500 total for 2010.

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PLANS were unveiled in January for an £8.5 million park and ride facility near Portlethen.

The location of the planned facility was revealed to be beside the Schoolhill junction on the A90 trunk road, and would consist of parking spaces for 1000 cars, as well as the possibility of a lorry park for 25 heavy goods vehicles.

The proposals was met with some concern from locals, who were worried about increased traffic flow near their homes and how the site could be protected from unauthorised access by travellers.

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APPROVAL was given for new council housing at Arduthie Gardens in Stonehaven.

The two houses and four flats which were given their backing by councillors were to be built near to the previously approved ‘care village’. Both of these developments are now under construction.

The housing, which sits adjacent to Farrochie Burn, riased concerns among members of the public and Stonehaven and District community council.

14 letter of representation were lodged with Aberdeenshire Council, one of which contained a petition with 19 names on it, which focussed on the issue of parking spaces, flood risk, the loss of green space and the over-development of the site. The community council objected on the basis of flooding concerns and traffic congestion among others.

Not all of the members of the Kincardine and Mearns area committee were happy with the application, but a vote of seven to three meant that the plans were given the go-ahead.

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STONEHAVEN schoolboy Douglas Green (12) was named as 2011’s winner of the Hannah Dyson award.

The youngster helps to care for his autistic brother, who also suffers from cystic fibrosis, and he was also commended for hosting a weekly show on Mearns FM called ‘Hunky Dory’. He was nominated for the accolade by Mearns FM chairman Ken Venters.

Douglas, who didn’t know he had been nominated for the award, said he was very surprised to receive the accolade which is handed out each by by Stonehaven Community Council to a local youngster for outstanding achievement, excellence or merit.

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RESIDENTS in the Mearns were urged to report potholes which had appeared in the roads following the wintry weather that was experienced at the beginning of the year.

While residents were assured that inspections were taking place, they were asked to report any holes that appeared in the road network between inspections.

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FEBRUARY

A FORMER Mackie Academy pupil became the first candidate from a state school to be awarded a top language prize.

18 year-old Sam Dickinson received the Lansdowne Prize, presented annually be the Franco-Scottish Society for the highest mark achieved by a pupil sitting the Advanced Higher French exam.

Sam’s achievement was made even more outstanding by the fact that he had to study and sit the exam from his hospital bed, after he broke his neck in an horrific car accident in December 2009. Sam was still on a ventilator as 2010 dawned, but his determination to get better was so strong

that just five months later he managed to sit not only Advanced Higher French, but also Advanced Higher Maths – and achieved As in both. Sam’s mum Sarah said at the time: “We are very proud of him, very much so. This was achieved under extraordinary circumstances – he really is remarkable.”

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PLANS were unveiled in February for unisex changing and shower facilities at Stonehaven’s Open Air Pool.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Department submitted an application for listed building consent to make internal alterations to the pool to create unisex shower, changing and WC facilities, while retaining the existing separate ones at the same time.

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COUNCILLORS gave their backing to plans to spend more than £100,000 repairing a flood damaged road at Dunnottar Woods which collapsed in November 2009 following severe flooding in the town.

Works expected to take place were listed as resurfacing 1400sqft of carriageway and the installation of a 230ft safety barrier and the excavation and re-building of the existing slip, including a grid for stabilisation, while eight fallen trees needed to be removed and repair work carried out on the culvert.

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A DETAILED masterplan for a proposed new town at Elsick was unveiled to the public.

The plans detailed the layout of The Chapelton of Elsick, which would be created to the west of Newtonhill.

When the plans were presented to the public in February the developers said that 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.

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WORK began to clear vegetation from the Bervie Braes in Stonehaven ahead of planning consent being sought for stabilisation work to begin on the cliffs.

The work was carried out to avoid any potential delay in the implementation of the project, however, the work continues to be delayed due to complications with affected residents’ waivers and the project being £2 million over-budget.

The waiver forms were handed out to residents in February, asking them to accept Aberdeenshire Council will not be held liable for any damage which may occur either now or in the future through its intervention in facilitating remediation works which it has no statutory obligation to undertake.

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AN expanding traveller’s camp at Baird Park caused outrage amongst residents after an original group of six caravans which had parked up illegally on the road adjacent to the park doubled in size and spread over the the nearby leisure centre car park.

The encampment angered locals, who branded it an “eyesore” and many residents complained about the group’s behaviour, reporting intimidation, fouling and littering in the area.

Representatives from Aberdeenshire Council said that their hands were tied as there was nowhere to move the travellers along to.

Work was also undertaken at this time to install bollards around the green area next to the open air pool to prevent unauthorised encampments on the site