Cllrs defer decision on Haldanes site development

A PROPOSED development at the Haldanes site on Ythan Terrace has been deferred by councillors seeking answers to difficult questions.

The Formartine Area Committee agreed unanimously to put off a decision on the 62 flat development, after reports from the developer to local members failed to address serious concerns about the percentage of affordable housing on the site.

In a move which will be seen as a strong stance in favour of increased affordable housing allocation, local members objected strongly to proposals which would have seen just 12 affordable housing units required on the site - 19% of the development - when Aberdeenshire’s Local Development Plan argues that 25% of any development be devoted to affordable units. If granted, the planning in principle would give the go ahead for 62 flats to be constructed on the site of the former supermarket, which closed earlier this year, subject to grants of detailed planning permission at a later date.

Prior to the shop closing, developer Warsash Properties of Hampshire, had already undertaken a public consultation on proposals for flats on the site. Aberdeenshire Planners had backed the proposals, recommending a delegated grant for the scheme.

Cllr Jim Gifford told the committee that he would have no hesitation refusing the permission, given the low percentage of affordable housing in the project.

“12 units are simply not acceptable,” he said. “There should be at least 16 units. There’s a huge waiting list in the region for affordable homes.”

Cllr Gillian Owen agreed, saying that the proposed affordable housing contribution would need to be looked at again.

“I’m very disappointed,” she said. “There needs to be further negotiation on the affordable units on the site.”