A housing developer has taken its fight to build hundreds of homes in a north-east coastal village to the Scottish Government.
Barratt North Scotland had its proposals for 121 homes in Newtonhill rejected in November due to concerns over their impact on local schools and also the landscape of the area.
The scheme – 109 houses and 12 flats, with 30 properties categorised as affordable – led to a groundswell of protest from the community, with 651 letters of objection submitted.
The firm has now confirmed it has appealed the decision to the Scottish Government and has branded Aberdeenshire Council’s decision “flawed”.
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David Palmer, managing director, claimed the Kincardine and Mearns area committee’s move had delayed the delivery of much-needed affordable housing in the area.
Mr Palmer also argued the decision contradicted the authority’s last two local development plans, which both earmarked the Park Place site for housing and a masterplan which was approved last March.
He added: “Finally, The committee’s grounds for refusal were not supported by the evidence it considered. They were also contrary to the recommendations made by the local planning officer, as well as the masterplan approval given by the same committee less than two months before the application was submitted.
“We strongly believe that our proposal will benefit the area by providing much needed quality homes for sale and affordable rent, as well as creating local employment opportunities.”
Campaigners have said the appeal is disappointing but have vowed to continue to fight the proposals.
Michael Morgan, chairman of the community council, said: “It’s not unexpected but disappointing nonetheless.
“But the community is resolved to fight this, because we believe it’s important.
“We have just seen the parking issue come to the fore at the school (Newtonhill Primary) and that would only get worse with 121 more homes.
“It’s something people don’t want, we want to encourage more tourism. Oil and gas is on the wane and there should be more of a focus on attracting tourists.
“This development would spoil the coastal path and the sea view, which is the reason people want to come to the village.
“Also, we want to support Chapelton, we don’t to have other houses being built to compete when we have everything we need there.”