Villagers have been thrown a lifeline in their fight against dozens of new homes being built in their community.
Kirkwood Homes is in the midst of creating a major development in Sauchen, aiming to extend the settlement by 99 properties in total.
More than 20 of the homes have already been built, and the firm is in the process of constructing a second phase of 27.
Bosses have now lodged a proposal for the final phalanx of 49 properties.
But they will have a battle on their hands to get permission to complete the project.
Villagers have list of concerns
Cluny, Midmar and Monymusk Community Council has opposed the development from the outset.
Members’ objections have been swept aside in the past, with Aberdeenshire Council rubber-stamping the opening phases of the scheme.
Now, however, they have managed to delay any decision on the third – and largest – application.
After hearing their concerns, councillors on the Garioch Area Committee have agreed to carry out a site visit before making a decision.
‘Genuine concerns’ over new Sauchen homes
The community council has objected to the application based on flooding risks, potential sewer flooding and the “unsuitable” road and pavement layout.
Speaking after the meeting, chairman Richard Fyffe said the group was “delighted” that the site visit had been agreed.
He reckons it will help to bring the issues raised to light.
He said: “It is really important as there have been so many objections and people have genuine concerns.
“We believe the access through Cluny Meadows is not fit for purpose and there is also the safety aspect of it.”
Mr Fyffe added that it was “critical” that the council and developer get the proposal right.
Council planners in favour of scheme
The proposed 49 homes would include a mix of two to six-bedroom properties.
Prior to Tuesday’s meeting the application had received 40 objections and one letter of support.
Objectors had raised concerns about flooding, loss of open space, impact on local amenities and road safety while the letter of support said the development would bring “much needed” affordable housing to the area.
Aberdeenshire Council planners had recommended the application be approved.
They said that the layout of the site was “virtually the same” as what had previously been approved but noted some minor changes had been made.
Councillor Iris Walker said seeing the issues raised by objectors in person would better enable the committee to come to a decision.
She added that it was also “essential” to see how the proposed development would fit with the existing phases.
Members voted nine to five for the visit.