Fears have been raised that young people are getting “priced out” of living in Aberdeenshire.
Councillors yesterday gathered to discuss the the next local development plan, a blueprint outlining how the region could take shape over the coming years.
New housing opportunities have been identified across Aberdeenshire including sites at Banchory, Echt, Fetterangus, Fyvie, Gourdon, Inverurie, Newburgh, Pitmedden, St Combs and Turriff among others.
And yesterday, eight developer representatives tried to make their case for their sites to be included in the LDP, but, in succession, were denied.
Their sites were “alternative bids”, which meant they could be considered for the new development plan.
Chap Group’s joint managing director Hugh Craigie revisited his company’s dreams to create Kincluny Village at Park Quarry, near Drumoak.
Historically, residents have been wary of the project, but Mr Craigie insisted it would address the region’s housing shortage, and that the village would be as “grand as Ballater or Braemear one day”.
Michael Lorimer, of Forbes Homes, then tried to persuade the council to increase the allocation of homes on a proposed site at the fire-hit Glen O’Dee Hospital from 40 to 100.
He said: “After the fire, various types of asbestos had spread across the site.
“The cost to fix it is colossal, we were quoted £2.7million in 2016.
“The increase in homes would help us support the clean up operation at the building.”
The only councillor who voted in favour of each potential development was Stonehaven and Lower Deeside’s Sandy Wallace.
He said: “This prices the new generation of Aberdeenshire out of their homes.
“When young people leave school or college they’ll look at houses in Paisley or Kilmnarnock then look at a flat above a shop in Aberdeenshire, the cost will be the same.
“We need more sites on every end of the scale.”
But as Mr Wallace supported each alternative bid, deputy leader of the council Peter Argyle successfully persuaded councillors to vote against them.
He said: “In my view the main issues report as is hugely successful.
“The plan has been through very thorough engagement.
“We did have far more bids on the table than we need. I had a lot of e-mails from individuals and landowners asking for their sites to be considered but the officers have done exactly what we asked of them.”
The new plan will go out to public consultation on April 27 for eight weeks.
After that, a public inquiry will be held in front of a Scottish Government reporter, with the plan due to be adopted by summer 2021.