The resurrection of plans to build 600 homes at a Kintore beauty spot has enraged local residents desperate to retain the green space.
Kintore Consortium – made up of Kirkwood Homes, Barratt Homes and Malcolm Allan Housebuilders – is behind the proposals for the homes which would be built on what is locally known as Tuach Hill.
Planning permission in principle was given for the Kintore East scheme in 2015.
But now a fresh application has attracted almost 20 letters of objection from nearby residents.
As well as concerns about losing the “iconic beauty spot” further worries have been expressed around the potential for flooding in the area.
Residents also listed the pandemic as a reason to retain the space for recreation stressing the importance it has played during the last two years.
Mrs Helen Lovelady said she felt “sick” reading the planning application and said if the development went ahead it would “no longer be the place she called home”.
Residents say 600 homes would cause ‘devastating’ loss of green space
She said: “Tuach Hill is the last remaining green space in Kintore, if it’s built upon, there will be nowhere to walk dogs freely, or enjoy the green surroundings.
“The last couple of years, in particular, have shown how important green space is to mental health and global warming etc, and building on this last piece of free land is in direct contradiction to this.
“I believe if building goes ahead, Kintore will no longer be the place I call home.”
Miss Rebecca Doughty added: “Tuach Hill is such a stunning local landmark that it would be devastating to lose it, not only for the appealing views but for the recreational uses it provides for dog walkers, runners and families alike.
“After the pandemic, people are realising, now more than ever how important green spaces and wooded areas are for wellbeing and mental health.
“Given how much damage was done to these natural areas with all the storm chaos recently, we should be focusing on protecting these sites rather than willingly destroying them and their delicate ecosystems which took decades to grow and thrive.”
The land at Kintore East has been identified for development for a residential-led,
mixed-use development since first inclusion in the Aberdeenshire Local
Development Plan (LDP) in 2012.
When planning permission in principle was granted there was a condition in place that required the submission of all applications for Matters Specified in Conditions (MSC) to be made within six years.
In normal circumstances, permission would have expired on September 3, 2021 but the process remains live as time limits were extended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Schools ‘wouldn’t cope’ with such a development
So far 18 objections have been lodged in total.
Patrick Cruickshank added: “With the size of Kintore and the surrounding areas, there are problems that need to be dealt with.
“The schools and the academy wouldn’t cope with that amount of folk, also Tuach Hill is quite bad for flooding during wet weather, and the facilities we have in Kintore need to be upgraded. They should of thought about the facilities we have, and the schools are packed as it is.”
The application stresses Kintore lies within the Aberdeen to Huntly Strategic Growth Area, where “significant development” will take place within the rail corridor between
Huntly and Blackburn.
The developers believe the site will be “key in facilitating” that growth.