The latest phase of a multimillion development which will bring a derelict north-east mansion back to life as a boutique hotel could be approved next week.
FM Ury already has planning consent to build 230 homes as an enabling development to fund the restoration of B-listed Ury House, near Stonehaven.
On Tuesday, the firm will seek full planning permission for 84 homes at East Lodge – the last phase of the enabling development. The site will eventually have 179 homes, which will be a “refreshing” mix of three, four and five-bedroom houses and bungalows.
Despite the layout for the site falling outwith the area already approved for the scheme, planning bosses are recommending the proposals are approved by the Kincardine and Mearns area committee.
In a report, director of infrastructure services Stephen Archer states: “The application is considered to be acceptable as a departure due to the early delivery of housing facilitating a more time-efficient restoration of Ury House, which in turn will have economic benefits from the finished product, and landscape benefits in terms of restoring an iconic building.”
Although the planning service supports the plans, Aberdeenshire Council’s children’s services (education) department is concerned about the impact it would have on Stonehaven’s schools, with Dunnottar Primary already full and Mackie Academy predicted to be over capacity next year.
Pupils would also need transport, due to the “significant walking distance” from the site to any of the area’s schools.
But Mr Archer believes the finished £40million development will offer improved access and links to the town centre from the estate, and says that at present there is good public transport provision within a “reasonable distance” from the site which will be further enhanced when the works at East Lodge, and elsewhere on the estate, are completed.
The masterplan for the Ury Estate also includes an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus.
The firm had also hoped to build a supermarket, petrol station and budget 50-bedroom hotel, but the proposals were thrown out last month.
Councillors will consider this latest stage of the project at their meeting in Stonehaven on Tuesday. If approved, the plans will be referred to the infrastructure services committee for a final decision.