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What about our washing and wildlife? Neighbours band together to oppose housing plans

What about our washing and wildlife? Neighbours band together to oppose housing plans

North-east neighbours are banding together to oppose a 20 house development they say has enveloped their properties in a storm of dirt and dust.

Residents of Newton Road in St Fergus believe the new homes will destroy their privacy, cause flooding and endanger their safety.

They have issued a plea to Buchan councillors to reject the plans at a meeting of the Buchan Area Committee on Tuesday.

Behind the scheme is ARD Properties, which wants to erect 20 houses on the site, and which has pledged to work with locals to mitigate any disruption.

But those whose houses back onto the land reported unauthorised work had already started, including increasing the level of the land above garden fences.

Yesterday Aberdeenshire Council confirmed it had ordered ARD properties to cease work ahead of its decision.

Objector Stephen Baird said: “They’ve raised the land so they can look right into our gardens, bringing in massive mounts of earth all through the summer. It has blown into our gardens and our washing.

“Even people across the road have noticed the dirt. It blew into my four-year-old son’s eyes and hurt him while he was in the safety of our garden.

“Using that stretch as a road also means that if something comes off of it, they could career right into our gardens.”

Concerns have also been raised about flooding as the drainage system currently consists of man-made ditches.

Resident Alison O’Brien said: “If people had seen the amount of water we had here in September – made worse by the raised land – then this wouldn’t even be up for discussion.”

And neighbour Rita Buchan said: “It’s destroying the P2 area, where we have wildlife like deer and heron.

“There is a path down there everyone uses but it’s like banging your head against a wall trying to protect the environment here.”

Stephen Baird added: “We all knew when we bought these houses that there were plans for a development but we were told it would be nice bungalows – not raised up one-and-a-half storey houses.”

The application has been recommended for refusal by Aberdeenshire Council planners, but the applicant is hopeful councillors may take a different view.

Ryan Urquhart, of Baxter Design Company, said ARD had been working to mitigate any issues arising from the proposals and was open to finding solutions.

He said: “The five or six reasons they gave for refusal have been the subject of ongoing discussions with planners and flood prevention.

“Neighbours have been concerned about flooding so we’ve looked at where the water is passing through.

“It is being discharged into land outside of our application area but we’re open to helping make improvements on someone else’s land so this doesn’t become a problem.

“We feel we’ve dealt with the problems and are positive about the meeting.”

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: “We can confirm a complaint was received regarding unauthorised works at Newton Road in St Fergus.

“The site owners have been advised to cease all works pending determination of the associated planning application.”

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