The presence of bats, otters and ancient woodland has seen council planning chiefs recommend refusal of proposals for a north east housing development.
Developer Jason Western from Mintlaw wants to build nine new homes on vacant land at Toux near Fetterangus but has seen his plan beset by concerns over roads, wildlife and drainage.
The Buchan area committee deferred consideration of the application in January to afford the applicant further time to address such issues.
A new route would have to be built to provide access to three of the buildings, while councillors are also worried the homes could impact on two protected species and woods that date back to the 19th century.
Council infrastructure chief Stephen Archer said: “There is a potential effect upon bats and otters due to the location of the proposed new access road.
“An ecological survey is required to demonstrate that there will not be an effect upon protected species.
“It is noted that the new proposed access would require the undertaking of a bat and otter survey. A bat survey cannot be undertaken until late spring.
“The proposed site would impact upon a designated area of ancient woodland which is of long-established origin.
“While the trees on the site are not all of substantial age, the significance of the site is that it has continually been forested, even if trees have been felled and replanted over time.
“The designation indicates that the vast majority of the site has been wooded since at least the 1860’s.”
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has objected to the development over concerns about a lack of information over the use of a private drainage system.
SEPA also wants the properties to be connected to the existing network and believes the developer has not provided “sufficient justification” for the houses not being part of the public system.
Mr Archer said: “The development must connect to existing public drainage infrastructure or plan to connect to a committed future public drainage infrastructure, where there is sufficient capacity to allow that development to happen.
“The applicant has not provided sufficient justification for not connecting to the public infrastructure.”
Councillors on the Buchan area committee will discuss the proposal at a meeting in Peterhead on Tuesday.