The owners of a beloved north-east dairy business were celebrating last night after councillors overruled a “harsh” planning recommendation to block its expansion.
Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Kincardine and Mearns area committee yesterday unanimously agreed to back the plans for the Devenick Dairy, in Bishopton, near Portlethen.
They had been asked to refuse the decision to construct a new space for the business’ popular farm shop, as well as a new agricultural store at the farm site.
Council officers argued the extension was located within greenbelt land and would change the business to the extent it could no longer be considered ancillary to the farm.
Planning officer Gregor Spence told the committee said: “It is a soft recommendation of refusal. The benefits are clear. The problem we have is the expectation of this use is seen to be more ancillary then existing agricultural use.”
But North Kincardine councillor Alison Evison said: “It is a bit harsh. I was surprised to see it was recommended for refusal. Yes the proposal is on greenbelt area but there is a farm shop already there, it is not creating something new.
“It is enhancing the use of the countryside. I think the conclusions of refusal, I can turn them all upside down.”
Fellow councillor for the area, Alastair Bews, added: “I think it will be a great addition to that area. With the recent closure of Cammies we have lost somewhere where people can go for a cup of coffee and a bite to eat.”
Partner of the dairy, Kenny Groat, said the Devenick Dairy could now finally spread its wings.
A coffee shop and play area for children will also be built at the farm, as well as a new space for the farm’s butchery.
He said: “We are chuffed about it. I am glad commonsense prevailed. We need the building work to expand and move on.
“I think I’d have been a bit gutted if it didn’t go through, especially with all the other projects going on around here, and the bypass – we are quite affected by that.
“I can’t get over the public feedback and support for us.”