Safety fears for Portlethen housing development

Councillors have deferred a planning application as they feel that allowing the development to go ahead would put lives at risk.

The planning application by Stewart Milne to develop 153 homes near Portlethen Golf club was discussed by the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee this week.

It was the second time the committee had considered the plans, at a previous meeting committee members had decided to carry out a site visit to determine the developments placement in relation to Portlethen golf course.

Since it was last discussed, Stewart Milne had amended the original plans. Changes included a higher fence and more trees. However despite this, Councillors still had concerns about the build.

The site visit did not appease Councillors concerns over the danger posed by the proximity to the Golf Course. Councillor Ian Mollison expressed his feelings about the gravity of the decision facing the Committee. He said: I think this is probably one of the most significant and important planning applications I have had in front of me since 2007.” He explained how normally planning applications are discussed on matters such as the roof angles or how eco-friendly the plan is. He said: “In this case we are talking about lives and injury. This is something which is very important.”

He explained that Portlethen Golf Club estimated that around 36 golf balls a day were being hit towards where the houses are planned. He added that whilst those who bought the houses will be aware that they will be living next to the Golf club he said: “We have a duty to protect them from injury and even death.”

Other Councillors echoed these concerns for safety. The issue of Golf Balls on the site was illustrated by Councillor Paul Melling who brought a bag of golf balls with him to the meeting which he had collected from where some of the houses would be built.

One Councillor who was in favour of passing the application was Councillor peter Bellarby who felt the Golf Club should be doing something such as lowering the tee, in order to solve the problem. His motion for passing the application was not seconded.

The committee agreed to defer the application to allow for a health and safety assessment to be carried out.