A Strathdon landowner locked in a battle with residents over the future development of his estate may finally succeed today.
Hamish McLean wants to build the four homes on the Breda Estate, near Alford, near a cluster of 13 other properties.
It is the third time he has submitted the plans, which have previously been rejected by councillors and the Scottish Government on the grounds they did not form a cohesive group.
Planning officers have backed the revised plans, and today the Marr area committee will weigh up if Mr McLean has listened to their concerns.
The homes have been put forward as four separate applications, and have each attracted more than a dozen objections and eight or nine letters of support.
Local residents have repeatedly raised concerns that further development would have a detrimental impact on B-listed Breda House, which Mr McLean and his wife Lorna are attempting to turn into a wedding and conference centre.
They also claim development has reach “saturation point” and that there is not enough infrastructure, such as decent roads, street lighting or community facilities, to support more families moving into the area.
However, supporters say Mr McLean has responded to the previous criticisms and that the detached properties are of a good, sympathetic design and would be a worthwhile addition to the community.
Director of infrastructure services Stephen Archer tells councillors in a report he thinks the plans should be approved, as they fit into the “nucleus” of the estate.
He states: “The planning advice states that the proposed dwelling(s) must demonstrate “connectedness” to the cohesive group. This is something that members felt this site failed to demonstrate under previous applications, and at the most recent appeal the Reporter did not consider the site to demonstrate connectedness.
“The planning service disagrees with the Reporter’s conclusion.”
“The planning service are supportive of the proposed dwelling(s). It is in an appropriate addition to an existing cohesive group, it fits in to the nucleus of a group of 13 dwellings with existing housing sitting east and north of the site, and through planting which can be controlled by condition the site will have a defensible boundary and be fully integrated into the existing group.”
Councillors will consider the plans at their meeting in Braemar today.