Councillors have praised a blueprint for a major expansion of an Aberdeenshire town – but are urging developers to include space for allotments in future planning applications.
The masterplan for the Kintore East site includes proposals for 600 homes, a shopping area and other businesses.
Kintore has expanded rapidly but locals say facilities such as more shops, a health centre and a petrol station are needed before any more houses are built.
The Kintore Consortium – made up of Kirkwood Homes, Barratt North Scotland and Malcolm Allan – unveiled the plans for the development in the Kintore East Development Framework, which was approved in September last year.
At yesterday’s meeting of the Garioch area committee, members discussed their approval of the plans.
East Garioch councillor Nan Cullinane said: “I am pleased to see some of the facilities coming in first rather than more housing.”
Fellow ward member councillor Fergus Hood added: “The Kintore community strongly expressed the wish that there was no housing developed on Tuach Hill so I am pleased to see that none are planned.”
Residential development will be to the south-east of Tuach Hill to avoid the areas prone to flooding from the Tuach Burn.
Councillor Martin Ford suggested that the committee ask planners to consider incorporating allotments – of which there is a demand for in the town – in future planning applications.
He said: “I think there is a lot of merit in these proposals.
“The developers have suggested a well designed layout with attractive streets that will create a pleasant place for people to live.
“There is a considerable area of open space available and I think we should be looking at the potential for allotments.”
A second primary school is planned on land adjacent to the Kintore East site but has been delayed due to issues with the transfer of site ownership.
Aberdeenshire Council says it will seek a compulsory purchase order if negotiations with the Kintore Consortium and landowners are not successful.
But a spokeswoman for the Kintore Consortium said the council were to blame for the delays and the developers were “absolutely committed” to delivering the school.
Brian Johnstone, chairman of Kintore Community Council, said he was happy that more facilities would become available prior to additional housing.