Councillors have thrown-out plans for the creation of a link road for a new community at Stonehaven, after about 40 objectors raised fears it could turn a quiet street into a “mini bypass” for vehicles avoiding the town centre.
Kirkwood Homes had applied for permission to create a link road on land adjacent to the East Lodge at Ury Estate, cutting through the ancient woodland of the Polbare tree belt.
Under the proposals, a stretch of the existing b979 Netherley to Stonehaven road at the site would have been blocked to vehicles and become a shared footpath and cycleway.
They were put forward to better link up the Ury Estate with the A957 Slug Road and improve connectivity for future developments in the area.
Planning officers had recommended the new link road scheme be approved, with infrastructure services director Stephen Archer writing in a report to councillors that it would bring “significant positive benefits”.
However, at yesterday’s meeting of the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee – held via Skype due to coronavirus – the proposal was rejected after a motion to refuse was passed by councillors.
Plans for the scheme drew around 40 objections from concerned residents living in the nearby area.
They raised worries that it would have a negative impact on nearby roads, including East Lodge Drive.
One resident who lives on Raedykes Crescent said: “While I fully understand and agree with the requirement for a road from the east of the Ury estate to the Slug Road, I would like to voice my concerns in using the current East Lodge Drive for this purpose.
“My opinion is that this new road will inevitably become a rat run or mini bypass for vehicles who will wish to use this road, in both directions, to avoid going through the centre of Stonehaven.”
North Kincardine independent councillor Colin Pike said: “We had a very long discussion on the Ury proposal and the application was refused when it went to the vote.
“In the back of people’s mind, the changes to Netherley road weighed heavily.”
Land director for Kirkwood Homes, Allan Rae, pledged to appeal the decision with the Scottish Government.
He said: “It was encouraging that Aberdeenshire Council are striving to keep business moving through the current situation as some councils outside the region appear to be less organised in respect of committee business.
“In respect of our application, we are extremely disappointed with the decision given it goes against a very strong officer recommendation which confirms the proposal is wholly compliant with relevant planning policy – and is the culmination of over two years work and discussions with Aberdeenshire Council’s planning and roads departments.
“We have commenced preparation of our appeal to Scottish ministers which will be submitted in early course.”