A multimillion-pound transformation of a village on the outskirts of Aberdeen has been backed by planners.
The long-awaited £150million “showcase” retail and housing development at Blackdog has been voted through by Aberdeenshire councillors.
More than 500 homes have been planned for the scheme, which will include a six-screen cinema, 150-bed hotel, shops, and a petrol station.
It will also feature a “world-class” regional food hall, close to 53,820sq ft in size, which will sell produce from farmers and fishermen from across the area.
Land will also be set aside for a travellers site.
The proposals, which have already been supported by the Formartine area committee, were awarded planning permission in principle at a meeting of full council yesterday.
Mid-Formartine councillor Cryle Shand said: “Blackdog is the gateway to Aberdeenshire and it’s a village that has a fantastic community spirit.
“This is a great opportunity for it to develop and attract investment.
“Aberdeenshire is famous for the quality of its food and drink sector and this will be a world-class showcase of what we can produce.”
Councillors Rob Merson, Jim Gifford, Allan Hendry and Paul Johnston also voiced their support for the plans.
Garioch councillor Martin Ford said that, while the development contradicted the authority’s commitment to promoting town centres, it had been included in the recent local development plan.
Last night land owners Ashfield Land said the development would open up a number of opportunities for the villages and the surrounding communities.
Steven McGarva, the firm director for Ashfield Land, said: “We’re looking forward to turning the plans into reality and would like to thank the council officers and elected members for their support. It will deliver substantial benefits for people living in Aberdeenshire and beyond and give local people access to leisure, retail and business facilities that have been sorely lacking in this area.”