A developer has written to Aberdeen City councillors urging them to support one of its projects – despite it being recommended for refusal.
Proposals for car parking and a bike shed, relating to planned allotments at Craigden, are due to go before the local authority’s planning development management committee later this week.
The allotments themselves do not require planning permission, but the associated transport infrastructure does.
The application for consent, which was submitted by developer Aurora Planning, has been earmarked for refusal by council officers.
In a report due to go before councillors on the planning committee, they argued the four-space car park and bike shed would go against green space policy and would “result in an adverse impact on the existing tree stock”.
Planning firm questions reasons for refusal
However, Aurora has now written to members of the committee contesting the reasons given by council officers and asking for support.
Dr Maggie Bochel, a director of the developer, argued that the allotments themselves and the transport access had been considered as one by officers, rather than as two separate entities.
“As set out in the committee report, planning permission is not required for a change of use of amenity land to form allotments,” she wrote.
“That being the case, the planning authority must consider only the potential impact of the proposed access, parking area and covered bike shed, in terms of which it is clear from the committee report that this is not considered to be detrimental to the character of the Green Space Network.
“It is then entirely inappropriate for the application to be refused because it is considered that there would be an impact when assessed in combination with the allotments.
“The reasons for refusal state that the proposed works and activities within the application site would have an adverse impact on existing trees, with that impact being largely attributed to works to form the allotments and the use of them.
“Given that the allotments can be formed without planning permission, it is again inappropriate to refuse the application on those grounds, irrespective of where the application boundary is drawn.”
Plans ‘would erode character’ of green space
The council officers’ recommendation claims the development would contravene green space policy “in that the proposal would erode the character of the Green Space Network and would result in the loss of an established area of urban green space, which directly serves the surrounding residential properties.”
The report added: “It is considered that the proposed works and activities within the application site would result in an adverse impact on the existing tree stock and would compromise the retention of the existing trees to the detriment of nature conservation, local character and amenity and climate change mitigation and the information submitted is not considered to be sufficient to negate any concerns.”
The plans will be discussed by councillors tomorrow.