Road safety fears over Marykirk plans

Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee, meeting in Stonehaven, voted 7-2 in favour of delegated approval
Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee, meeting in Stonehaven, voted 7-2 in favour of delegated approval

Plans for 27 new homes in Marykirk have been delegated for approval by local councillors despite serious road safety concerns.

Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee supported recommendations for the proposal from Gourdon-based Fotheringham Property Developments Ltd.

The firm wants to build the houses on land adjacent to Wester Balmanno.

But the plans brought a flurry of representations, with objectors raising concerns ranging from school crossing safety and traffic impact, to education provision and sewerage capacity.

With permission already existing for 30 houses on the site, councillors were told that while objectors claim that housing is not in demand in Marykirk, as an allocated site there was no planning reason to refuse the principle of the housing development on the land.

Planner Gregor Spence said the application largely involved a change to the type and design of houses to meet the latest market requirements. But it was the lack of a crossing which provoked debate.

Councillor George Carr said residents would be “hugely disappointed” there was no safe crossing over the main road to the school.

Councillor Sarah Dickinson said she was also “alarmed” by the lack of a safe route for the children who would be living in the development.

Mr Spence assured councillors that road services were content with the proposal and stressed the development did not ‘trigger’ a technical requirement for a crossing.

But Councillor Sandy Wallace, seconded by Councillor Leigh Wilson, proposed an amendment that some form of crossing be included as part of the development – despite senior council solicitor Peter Robertson warning it could prompt an appeal on the grounds of ‘not being reasonable’ to the applicant.

The application was delegated for approval by a 7-2 vote with Councillor Ian Mollison abstaining, having previously asked it to be deferred to allow the option of a crossing to be discussed directly with the developer.

Councillors have, meanwhile, demanded a report focusing on road safety issues in Marykirk.