Developers bidding to slash transport funds

An artist's impression of a street in the new town of Chapelton.
An artist's impression of a street in the new town of Chapelton.

An application has been lodged by developers behind the new town of Chapelton to reduce their financial contribution to transport.

However, it will go to Aberdeenshire Council for consideration without the backing of local councillors.

Members of the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee heard arguments for and against the application on Tuesday which, if successful would see the developer’s contribution to the North East Strategic Transport Fund reduced from £8.16 million to £287,000.

Construction work has already begun on the new town, and the first residents moved in last month. It is expected that 4045 new houses will make up the new town, as well as associated roads and infrastructure.

Building work on Phase 1A is under way, and consists of 802 dwellings, retail, commercial and civic buildings, drainage, landscaping, open space and roads infrastructure.

The requirement to provide £8.16 million was one of the clauses which were put in place when planning permission was granted for Chapelton. However, the developers argue that transport impact assessment showed that the wider impacts are modest and do not justify the level of contributions sought.

They are also contributing 525 affordable homes, £32.5m towards three primary schools, £500,000 towards additional space for playgroup/nursery provision and £21.6m towards secondary education as well as land for a health centre, a new roundabout at Newtonhill and a grade separated junction at Bourtreebush among other contributions.

Council officers do not support the application, and councillors were asked for their comments before the matter goes before full council.

In a report to the committee, officers said: “The removal of the requirement would be contrary to the Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Plan.”

Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeen city and shire strategic development plan authority have objected to the application.

Members agreed that the clause should remain as it is, with Area Chair Carl Nelson commenting: “We have heard very good arguments from both sides.

‘‘At the moment, it is my view that this should go before full council and I would adhere to the [current agreement] as we currently have it.”

What do you think of the developer’s application? Let us know.