Newtonhill homes go-ahead

Barratt has been given the green light to develop the Newtonhill site
Barratt has been given the green light to develop the Newtonhill site

Construction is expected to start later this year on a controversial housing development south of Newtonhill.

It follows the Scottish Government giving the go-ahead for Barratt North Scotland’s plans for 121 homes.

The proposals attracted more than 650 objections and were turned down by Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee.

But the developers appealed the decision and in April Reporter Robert Maslin said he was “minded to allow the appeal” and grant permission subject to conditions, despite the wave of opposition.

The Reporter has now cleared the way by giving planning permission, stating: “I conclude that it is the right development in the right place at this time.

The ruling continued: “The council has failed to support its reasons for refusal of planning permission. It has failed to show that it had reasonable planning grounds for its decision. It has acted unreasonably.”

North Kincardine Councillor Ian Mollison said: “It’s a disappointing outcome. In my view the planning system should allow local decisions to be taken locally, and only when there is a national aspect should a decision be taken nationally.

“But that’s not the way it is, and so the community has no option but to accept the situation.”

The developers have also been awarded expenses with the Reporter saying: “I find that the council has acted in an unreasonable manner resulting in liability for expenses.”

David Palmer, Barratt North Scotland managing director, said they were pleased with the decision and look forward to starting construction later this year.

He added: “The development reflects our business’s continued commitment to invest in the Aberdeen market.

“This development will deliver a range of new family homes including 30 affordable properties, whilst also generating employment opportunities within the local area.

“We also recognise the reporter’s decision to award expenses to Barratt Homes due to the council’s unreasonable basis for originally refusing planning permission.

“ On the back of that decision we shall be making a contribution towards a worthwhile cause within the local community.”