Councillors back 60-home Newtonhill development

PLANS for a 60-home development in Newtonhill have been given the green light by councillors at this week’s meeting of the Kincardine and Mearns area committee.

The application, submitted by developers Barratt East Scotland and A&D Developments (Scotland), to build 60 homes at land to the East of West Monduff was given a delegated grant by members on Tuesday, following a deferral from the November meeting.

Councillors had then requested that the applicant reconsider the road layout to include a second access and wanted more information relating to the affordable housing element of planning gain for the development.

In response to this, the applicants insisted that “considerable consideration” had already been given to a second access throughout the planning process and was ultimately discounted.

They stated that attention was instead focused on the upgrading of existing paths, creation of new paths and a zebra crossing to increase the connectivity between the development and the village.

11 letters of representation were received in relation to the application, which raised concerns about the over-development of the site, the gradual coalescence between Newtonhill and Muchalls, the traffic impact and road safety concerns, and that a second access point is needed.

Newtonhill, Muchalls and Cammachmore Community Council also objected to the application on the grounds that it was contrary to the Aberdeenshire local plan and traffic and access issues.

Planning officers recommended the plans for a delegated grant and a report before councillors stated: “Through an extensive period of discussion, the applicant has demonstrated that the technical and safety requirements of servicing the site can be adequately achieved without the provision of a second road access.

“This is achieved by supplementing the existing road and path network with an enhanced cycle/foot path from the residential development to the village. This connection allows a safe pedestrian and cycle link from the development to the bus stops on Newtonhill Road, as well as onward connectivity to the Primary School through the provision of a zebra crossing.”

North Kincardine councillor Ian Mollison said: “I have never been comfortable with Newtonhill marching towards Muchalls but I’m a realist and if it gets to appeal it will cost the council money.

“There is no point bashing one’s head against a brick wall. I cannot support it but I will not move for refusal either.”

The application is the second phase of an on-going development at the southern edge of Newtonhill, where construction has begun on the first phase of 28 homes which has been named Whiteland Haven.

There will be a total of 20 affordable houses included across both developments, as part of a planning gain package for the area.

The current project will take the number of homes at the village’s southern edge to 88, despite only 55 being allocated in the current Aberdeenshire local plan.

The planning officer’s report stated, however: “It is not a case that this figure has been disregarded; rather it is the case that development proposals must be assessed on its own merits. against the objectives of all relevant planning policies.”