Portlethen housing: site visit

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Kincardine and Mearns councillors will visit the site of a proposed new housing development in Portlethen before they make a final decision on the plans.

An application for 175 homes and associated infrastructure in the Hillside area of the town was discussed by the area committee on Tuesday of last week.

The site spans between the existing consented, existing housing and the recently-constructed Hillside Primary School.

Developer Stewart Milne Homes has split the site into six separate phases and the development is set to include 46 affordable housing units.

The application attracted 32 representations, of which two were in support and 29 in objection. The other representation was a comment on the development.

Objectors raised concerns including “inadequate” facilities in the area, lack of demand for housing in the area and an impact on school role and education provision. Those in support said they welcomed development on derelict space.

Portlethen and District Community Council has objected to the development. It stated that due to the approval of 55 homes at the old poultry farm, the total amount of new homes to be built in the area would be 230 and would lead to an “adverse” impact on current resources at Portlethen including the medical centre, Portlethen Academy and Hillside Primary School.

Aberdeenshire Council’s education and children’s services team stated that despite the recent extension to the primary school, the school would not be able to accommodate children that move into this development in the future.

They suggested that a rezoning consultation would be carried out to ensure any future pupils are given places at either Fishermoss Primary School or Portlethen Primary School.

Despite the concerns, council planners had recommended that the plans should be granted, subject to conditions.

At the meeting, councillors were told that the development could bring an estimated 70 new primary school pupils and 35 academy students to the town, and the nearby Hillside Primary School would be unable to accept new pupils.

Councillor Colin Pike suggested the committee defer the plans and carry out a site visit, a move that was unanimously backed by the rest of the committee.

The site visit will be carried out next month.