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Plans for 100% affordable housing development on edge of Cove recommended for approval

A layout map of the planned housing development east of Falkland Avenue, Cove, Aberdeen.
A layout map of the planned housing development east of Falkland Avenue, Cove, Aberdeen.

Plans for nearly 170 affordable homes on the edge of an Aberdeen suburb could be approved next week, despite concerns the community is already overcrowded.

Stewart Milne Homes wants to build a mixture of houses and flats in a field between the Coast Road and the railway line.

Public protest has been significant, with 115 people voicing concerns over potentially packed schools, traffic jams, overdevelopment, parking issues and the loss of green space.

Council planners have recommended the planning committee shows willingness to approve the plans next week, as long as the developer signs up to a legal agreement.

Among the many conditions Stewart Milne Homes would have to meet is a requirement to build two access roads into the housing development before all the homes are occupied.

There would also be a bill for nearly £440,000 covering upgrades to the overcapacity Cove and Kincorth medical practice, local community centres and paths.

Hundreds of homes – including a planned 700 coming into the city from the south – have been built in Cove in recent years.

Cove and Altens Community Council objected to these latest plans for the former fishing village on the basis the site is earmarked for only 150 homes, claiming it would be a deviation from the local development plan (LDP) and overdevelopment.

Community councillors also claimed the size of the flat blocks were “alien” to Cove and out of character with the surroundings.

But planners said the roughly 10% increase, resulting in 167 homes, would not “constitute a significant departure” from the rules.

Placing the six blocks of flats on land dipping down towards the railway line could reduce their visual impact and hopefully act as a barrier to noise from passing trains too, officers said.

Concerns were also raised that the development would be a segregated affordable housing community, with calls for better integration.

But planners said: “There is nothing to stop a developer proposing solely affordable housing.

“While the LDP notes that affordable housing provision should be on site, integrated with, and indistinguishable from the market housing, it is notable that this generally addresses the form and location of affordable housing being delivered as part of a wider mainstream residential development, rather than standalone developments of exclusively affordable units.

“Delivering an exclusively affordable housing development would contribute towards meeting identified housing needs, for which the council’s housing strategy team advises there is an unmet demand.”

Officers said matters raised by the public were noted but were “not of sufficient weight to warrant refusal”.

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