A north-east community has slammed a Scottish Government decision to clear the way for a developer to build hundreds of homes in a coastal village.
Barratt North Scotland had its proposals for 121 homes in Newtonhill rejected by the Aberdeenshire Council’s Kincardine and Mearns area committee in November due to concerns over their impact on local schools, the landscape of the area and access.
The committee also believed that the plans breached both national and local planning policies.
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.
But the firm decided to fight the committee’s decision and appeal to the Scottish Government.
A written decision, from an R.W Maslin – a government reporter – stated that the “proposed development accords with the development plan” and there is “no material consideration that would justify refusal of planning permission”.
The reporter also stipulated that Barratt would have to agree to 22 different conditions which have been submitted by the council.
These relate to a range of issues, from commitments to wildlife and tree protection to water supply and drainage.
The decision to overturn the committee’s decision has sparked anger in the community.
Michael Morgan, chairman of Newtonhill, Muchalls and Cammachmore Community Council, said: “The community council and residents alike support the development of 4,045 houses at Chapelton, less than half a mile from Newtonhill, whereas the proposed development at Newtonhill is only houses.
“Chapelton will become a town with all the schools, shops and employment that you would expect in any town. The Scottish Government reporter says that the development Chapelton can be used to mitigate some of the negative impacts of approving 121 houses at Newtonhill.
“The community council would argue that it goes against the principles of Scottish Planning Policy to approve a development that cannot bring a positive impact in its own right and at the same time, will have a serious negative impact on Chapelton.”
Meanwhile, North Kincardine councillor Ian Mollison – who proposed the motion which led to the plans being rejected – said he was “disappointed” at the reporter’s decision as he felt the committee had a strong case rooted in planning law.
There will now be a three month delay to allow the developer and the council to come to an agreement over the planning conditions.
David Palmer, managing director for Barratt North Scotland, said: “This site has long been designated for housing development, and is one that we have been eager to progress for a number of years now.
“We are therefore very pleased that our appeal has been upheld and that all grounds for refusal have been dismissed.
“This approval will allow us to progress our plans which will provide a range of quality new homes for sale and will address local demand for affordable housing. It will also secure additional investment and employment in the local area.”