Committee backing for Balmedie school plans

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BALMEDIE Primary School is in line for a £333,000 upgrade after councillors agreed to push forward budgeting for an extension.

Local members expressed concerns, however, on the prospect that increased use of the site could result in more traffic in what is an already congested residential area.

Mid Formartine Councillor Alan Hendry, who has consulted with the roads department regarding the school, told the committee that he had grave doubts over whether the proposed amount would cover the costs of both the extension and the road improvements it would necessitate. He also took issue with the information local members had been supplied with.

“The report says that further information has been provided to me, but it most certainly wasn’t satisfactory,” he said.

His concerns were echoed by Cllr Paul Johnston, who also raised doubts over whether the money allocated would be sufficient to cover the costs of the road improvements, and said “I don’t think we should approve these figures until we know more.”

Cllr Anne Robertson told the committee that there was an urgent need for the proposed extension, and that delays and deferrals would slow down the project,

Chairman John Loveday said that the problem of access to Balmedie Primary was a long standing one, and that it would need to be addressed as the school roll increased.

The committee agreed to approve the budgeted amount, but with the proviso that the minutes record the concerns regarding anticipated additional costs of improving access to the school.

In other news, an application for a new wind turbine at Whiterashes was deferred for further information, after councillors agreed that the report they had been provided by the planning service was incomplete. The application, lodged by C Simmers, was recommended by planners for approval subject to planning conditions relating to light, sound and shadow flicker. However, these conditions were not included in the report, and councillors asked for the proposals to be deferred until the report could be supplied in full.

“We can’t determine an application without the full information in front of us,” said Cllr Anne Robertson.