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Major housing plans unveiled for north-east village expansion

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Plans have been unveiled for the expansion of a north-east village – which could boost the population by 20%.

Claymore Homes want to build 200 properties in Cruden Bay, near Peterhead.

The developer has teamed up with architects Baxter Design to draw up a masterplan, which also includes space for a railway line to cut through the village should hopes to reopen the Buchan line come to fruition.

The blueprint is the first step to making the expansion plans for the village, which were first mooted in 2009, a reality.

Under the plans, the development off Aulton Road and Golf Road will be built in two phases, with 80 homes and employment land for shops being provided in the first step to help nurture the village’s economy.

Last night, the development was broadly welcomed by the local community, who hoped the provision for the railway would attract more people to the area.

Ian Devenish, owner of bed and breakfast, The Old Red House, said the proposals could bring the village back to its glory days, when people from outwith Aberdeenshire visited for the holidays.

“Cruden Bay is a wonderful place, and this could be a fantastic situation for us,” he said.

“We only have one village shop at the moment and to be able to get more or a bigger shop – including houses – would be great. I’m really for it.

“It would be fantastic for the railway to come back, too. It would be a great boost. Originally, it was what made Cruden Bay. We had a 365-bed hotel, and we’d have people coming up from London and Birmingham for the bracing sea air.”

Lucy Taylor, manger of the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel, added: “I think this could be fantastic, especially the railway – that would be a big thing for us.

“With the alcohol limit laws coming into effect, we have definitely been affected with the number of people coming out for meals.

“Being able to catch the train into Cruden Bay would mean people would be able to have a drink and catch the train back.

“There would also be more to do for people visiting here. I think it’s a positive thing.”

And local resident Stuart Johnson said it could build the village up to match others in the region.

“It’s been in the local plan for a long time, so this is another step along the way for it to come to fruition,” he said.

“I have no objections to the scheme. It’s in common with the other villages in this area, where they’re all getting new houses.

“As a general principle, too, I would be in favour of re-opening the railway line.”

A design statement by Baxter Design explains the developer was trying to take steps to allow the village to act as a transport link between neighbouring towns.

It states: “Running across the site in the northern half is the old Boddam branch of the Great North of Scotland Railway which the masterplan has left sufficient space for should it be re-established in the future.

“The masterplan is not viewed solely as a stand-alone development; instead best endeavours have been used to ensure the masterplan is fully connected into the village of Cruden

Bay via pedestrian and cycle linkages, open space networks, and the existing local transport routes currently available.

“It is hoped that Aberdeenshire Council and consultees will see the potential and positive attributes the site offers and be supportive of the masterplan.”

The scheme, which includes plans for 50 affordable homes, has been recommended for approval by planning officers at Aberdeenshire Council.

In a report to Buchan area committee, which meets on Tuesday, director of infrastructure services Stephen Archer said the plan set out the future for the site.

Mr Archer added: “The planning service are recommending the Buchan area committee accept the masterplan as the context for the general layout and delivery.

“The landscaping of the development would provide a welcome opportunity to enrich the bio-diversity of the area through the provision of green corridors throughout the site.”