The developers behind controversial plans for 250 new Peterculter homes have told the council their proposal would keep the community alive.
First Endeavour LLP has applied to Aberdeen City Council for permission to build 250 properties – which could increase the suburb’s population by as much as 20%.
A pre-determination hearing was held today to give developers and objectors the chance to have their say on the proposal.
City councillors visited the site before the talks, to get a better idea of how the proposed development would fit in the landscape.
What did the developers say?
At the meeting Elaine Farquharson-Black of Brodies LLP said the application would keep families in the area.
She said: “Culter Community Council had advised Aberdeen City Council that there’s a critical need for new homes for growing families in the Culter area.
“They expressed concern that their community will wither if their vibrant young families keep having to move away.
“The community council was looking for a greater mix of house types – they wanted small, large detached, semi-detached, bungalows, low cost housing and retirement homes.
“The application before you today seeks to provide that much-needed housing including 25% affordable housing, a community and transport hub, open space, pedestrian and cycling networks.”
Is school capacity an issue?
She said the site was a “very sustainable location” for the development as all of the local facilities are within a 20 minute walk.
The developers added it had been confirmed that there would be capacity for pupils from the development within the primary school and Cults Academy.
Ms Farquharson-Black added: “The site provides opportunities for outdoor recreational access to natural open space and an opportunity for woodland areas to be sensitively managed to enhance biodiversity.”
Community Council concerns
The meeting gave objectors the chance to comment on the plans.
Peter Brawley attended the Town House talks on behalf of Culter Community Council.
He said: “The population of Peterculter is about 5,000.
“If there’s an average of four people in each of the 250 new homes then the population of Peterculter would increase by 20%.
“Whichever way you look at it, Tillyoch is a large development for the village.”
He also said that the main concerns of the community council is the “destruction” of ancient woodland for the access roads and the impact it would have on wildlife.
And the group remains worried about the capacity of the local schools and medical centre, road safety and additional traffic.
What did the objectors say?
Resident Robert Brew said the biggest objection to the development was the threat to nature.
He said: “There are designated species in the area – there’s bats, red squirrel and I myself have spotted woodpecker and owls so it’s clearly an area that’s rich in wildlife.”
He added that the construction work would “obliterate the ancient woodlands” and it was simply “the wrong development in the wrong place”.
Maurice Manning said he felt the development is “out of scale” for a village like Peterculter and said the influx of new residents “is just not sustainable for any of the facilities in the village”.
“Once lost it is gone forever”
If approved the new development would lie next to Bucklerburn Road and the B979 Malcolm Road, on land that is currently in use by the Tillyoch Equestrian Centre.
The local authority has received 295 letters of objection calling for the scheme to be rejected.
— Elaine (@efb615) June 1, 2022
The Woodland Trust submitted an objection due to the direct loss of ancient woodland.
The conservation charity said: “Ancient woodland is an irreplaceable habitat, once lost it is gone forever.
“We will continue to oppose this proposal unless suitable mitigation measures can be implemented to protect the ancient woodlands on site.”
What happens next?
As this was just a pre-determination hearing, the council made no decision on the new Peterculter homes.
A report will now be prepared with a recommendation and will go before the council’s planning committee at a later date.
You can see the plans here.