The first of two consultations over plans for a development of Ury Estate have taken place and the majority opinion on the plans appeared to be a resounding “Yes,” writes Fiona Stokes.
The public consultation took place on Thursday the 18th August at the Invercarron resource centre in Stonehaven.
Attendance looked to be high with around 20 to 30 people having viewed the plans just an hour and a half into the consultation opening, overall around 100 people turned up to view the plans throughout the day.
Directors of FM Ury Ltd attended the consultation and were available to answer any queries or concerns. One of the directors Jonathan Milne explained why the public consultation was so important. He said: “Stonehaven and the people of Stonehaven are very, very important to us.”
The plans on show include a retail development, which did not feature on the original plans which were approved by Aberdeenshire Council in 2008. Development of the site had to stop when the company went into administration in 2009.
Jonathan Milne explained that plans for a supermarket in the retail area had received a particularly good response from residents he said: “People feel that Stonehaven needs a supermarket, some even think we need two.” The public are getting a say on where the supermarket would be. The public are being asked to choose between two options of where the retail section of the plans would be built. The proposed retail area would include a supermarket, petrol station, non-food retail and car parking. A new access road would also be built.
Jonathan also expressed how important the residents opinion was on the retail estate, emphasising that their opinions would go towards the final plans. He also said that despite being faced with the option of one or the other, some people said they wanted both.
Local support for the plans included a positive response over the development of a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course on the Ury estate. Graeme Webster, from Team Niblick, has been working closely with Jack Nicklaus on the course.
He said: “Jack himself thinks it is one of the most remarkable pieces of ground he has seen for a golf course.” With the proposed golf course design, when coming off the 18th players on the course will be met with the sight of Ury house, which will be refurbished externally to it’s former glory as part of the development.
In terms of a time scale for the development, once the necessary permissions have been attained, which FM Ury Estate directors are hopeful could be within a year, the building of the golf course will then take around two years.
The meeting on Thursday was just one of two public consultations taking place on the proposal. The next step after public consultation is the submission of a planning application.
The second consultation meeting will take place in the town hall on August 25 and will run from 2pm - 8pm.