A north-east town’s ambitious multi-million-pound sports centre moved one step closer to reality yesterday.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Marr area committee backed Bancon Homes’ plans for 90 homes, a care village and a sports facility at Hill of Banchory.
The Banchory Sports Village, which is being progressed through a separate planning application by the council, is planned for the site.
And councillors approved planning permission in principle for the development.
The plans include 42 affordable homes.
Council planner Neil Mair said there was a “huge demand” for cheaper housing in Banchory, adding the affordable housing proposed offered an “over-riding social benefit”.
Banchory and Mid-Deeside Lib Dem councillor, Karen Clark, called for more green space and plants to be included in the plans, claiming what was being proposed could be a “concrete monstrosity”.
She also called for measures to make the “incredibly congested” junction between Raemoir Road and Hill of Banchory West safer.
Fellow ward councillor, Jill Webster, initially moved to defer the plans to set aside more land for future expansions of the sports village.
The Conservative member added: “I am unhappy there is no capacity in this plan for a space for expansion of the sports centre. That is what the community wants.”
SNP councillor for Banchory and Mid-Deeside, Linda Clark, added: “We have got concerns as local members.”
However, Mr Mair said that because the plans were “indicative” at this stage, their concerns could be addressed in the next stage of the planning process.
The committee agreed to a delegated grant on the condition space was safeguarded for a potential expansion of the sports village, and highquality landscaping was included in the plans.
They also called for traffic issues to be reconsidered as a delegated matter.
The Banchory Sports Village Trust was tasked with raising £700,000 by Aberdeenshire Council to bring the centre to the town.