Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

‘A bridge too far?’: 68 new Banchory homes could be approved despite concerns about schools, GP practice and squirrels

The proposed Cala Homes development will be considered by councillors next week.

An artist impression of the Cala Homes that could be built at Upper Lochton
An artist impression of the Cala Homes that could be built at Upper Lochton. Image: Cala Homes

Plans by national housebuilder Cala Homes to create 68 new homes on the outskirts of Banchory have been slammed by angry residents.

Cala initially submitted proposals for the development at Upper Lochton last May.

But the proposal, which was then for 78 houses, was later withdrawn.

Determined developers went back to the drawing board and lodged an amended application earlier this year seeking permission for 68 properties instead.

The location of the proposed housing development in Banchory. Image: Cala Homes

The latest proposal will go before councillors next week and has been recommended for approval.

However, Banchory residents have voiced their opposition against the development.

A total of 58 locals wrote to the local authority to object to the plan.

Schools and medical facilities ‘can’t cope’

Lewis Morrison raised concerns that Banchory’s schools and GP practice was currently “struggling to cope with demand”.

He added: “Maybe we should be thinking about new schools and a doctor surgery before building any more houses.”

Objectors say Banchory Academy would struggle with additional pupils from the new development. Image: Gordon Lennox/DC Thomson

His view was backed by Colin Macleod who stated: “Banchory has been allowed to expand at too great a rate over the past few decades.

“The local catchment primary school is struggling to accommodate new pupils.

“Banchory has been asking for a new academy for over 15 years as its existing facilities are dated and in disrepair.

“The addition of more pupils will only exacerbate the problems that already exist.”

Road safety fears flagged

Gordon Mennie raised a number of safety concerns regarding the busy junction between Raemoir Road and Upper Lochton.

He explained: “With the increased number of homes in the application, and with no roundabout to show for it, safety is appearing to be neglected in favour of profit.

“It is not very safe having commercial vehicles and excess waste centre traffic travelling through the housing development where children, pets and wildlife will be present.”

The Banchory Household Waste Recycling Centre is located next to the proposed housing development. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

While Briony Shrieve added: “This is a particularly dangerous junction as it is, with more houses it’s going to get even worse.

“The speed the cars come up the road is ridiculous.”

Banchory becoming ‘huge housing estate’

Jayne Christie suggested that any further housing developments would “completely erode” the rural character of the area.

In her objection she said: “Upper Lochton is a beautiful country road and any building should be sympathetic to this.

“These new style ‘trendy, boxy’ houses that seem to be fashionable at the moment would completely ruin the atmosphere.

“It is a disgrace and does not take into account at all the existing houses in Upper Lochton that will back onto these houses which would be overlooked.”

An artist impression of the new homes that could be built in Banchory. Image: Cala Homes

The town resident added: “The number of existing houses on the market is enormous compared with the past.

“People wanted to live in Banchory because it was a rural community.

“It is fast becoming a huge housing estate, but without the amenities to go with it.”

Concerns for wildlife and elderly residents too

But the concerns didn’t stop there.

Yolanda Christie raised fears that the development would affect wildlife living in the area including deer, red squirrels and woodpeckers.

Banchory residents are worried the Cala Homes development will harm wildlife including red squirrels. Image: Aberdeen City Council

She also believed the “noise and upset” from any construction could impact elderly residents already living in Upper Lochton.

While Andrew Tugwell suggested there was no need for another housing development in Banchory, and described this latest plan as a “bridge too far”.

What do council chiefs have to say?

However, council officials are happy with the proposal.

Planners said the character of the area would be “reflected in the design” and stated: “The landscaping fits successfully with existing features of the site.”

A site plan of the proposed 68 new homes in Banchory. Image: Cala Homes

Meanwhile, the roads team confirmed that the staggered junction included in the plan was “acceptable”.

If approved, Cala Homes will press on with the development which is expected to primarily be four and five-bedroom properties.

Of the 68 homes, 17 will be affordable and range from one-bedroom apartments to three-bedroom houses.

A play area would also be included in the woodland to the south of the development along with bird and bee boxes to boost biodiversity in the area.

Cala boss says plans followed ‘extensive discussions’

Ross Maclennan, land director at Cala Homes (North), said: “We have been in extensive discussions with Aberdeenshire Council regarding the proposals and welcome the positive recommendation.

“Following the council’s detailed technical feedback, the application was revised to include a new junction arrangement on Raemoir Road, replacing the existing road which is no longer suitable for the area or future planned growth.”

The application will be considered by members of the Marr area committee on Tuesday.