Aberdeenshire Council is to seek full planning permission for a new council depot at the undeveloped site at East Newtonleys in Stonehaven.
The depot is part of Aberdeenshire Council’s depot renewal strategym making Stonehaven the main depot for Kincardine and Mearns.
At a meeting at Viewmount last Thursday, community groups were shown the plans and have expressed dismay at the them.
Plans are already at an advanced stage, and include a 12-metre (40 foot) high barn covering an area greater than a football pitch, to be used to handle waste and store road salt. Road access to the site is to be provided by Bancon Ltd, and this would therefore facilitate further development of the industrial use of the site, which has previously been agreed in principle.
A significant number of questions were raised at the meeting, but answers were not immediately available. The Council promised to supply answers as soon as possible. These issues include why other sites had been rejected, what efficiencies were to be gained, and why a 12-metre high barn was needed.
David Fleming, on behalf of STP, told the Leader that he was very disappointed that yet again, Aberdeenshire Council officers have decided matters before telling the public.
He said: “Rumours have been circulating, but this plan still comes as a shock. A very large 12-metre barn is not a suitable building on the horizon of the Bervie Braes. No amount of tree planting will hide this.”
Phil Mills-Bishop from Stonehaven Community Council said: “This was not a consultation but this is whats going to happen and there is no plan B. No other plans have been developed, the land has been brought by Aberdeenshire Council and staff have been told.
“Which means the East Newtonleys Planning Application is already, in some Aberdeenshire Council Officers minds, a done deal and Planning approval assured.”
Chris Stirk who was also at the meeting has written a letter to the Mearns Leader which can been read on page 26.