Couple’s campaign on increased traffic

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AN ELLON couple have raised serious concerns about the impact of the recent Caroline’s Wells Woods debacle on the surrounding roads.

Colin and Dianna Huston, who stay at Woodlands Drive, told the Times that by denying access through Caroline’s Well Woods, the volume of traffic passing through other entries to the proposed Castleton development would increase if the plans remain as they are.

“The proposed road nearest our own house runs next to a child’s playpark, which will create a major health and safety issue,” said Dianna. “We knew that the road would be going ahead when we bought the house, and that wasn’t a problem. However, if there are only going to be two entrances to the Castleton development, it’s going to put a major strain on local roads, which weren’t built to cope with this volume of traffic.”

In her letter of objection to planners, Dianna outlined concerns about the impact a development with just two access roads would have on the surrounding area.

The couple, who have organised objections to the Castleton development, say that without a road connecting the project and the town centre, the development would jeopardise the safety of residents near the other accesses.

The planning system was forced into a complicated rearguard manoeuvre last month, when it emerged that developers had no rights to build an access road to Castleton through the Caroline’s Well Woods, given the terms of the Blench Charter which conferred the woods on the people of Ellon in 1929.

Councillors initially suggested that a temporary access for the duration of the works would be permissible, to be replaced with a cycle path in five years’ time, in order to comply with the legal conditions of the charter.

However, in a press release on Friday, Aberdeenshire Council told the Times that the temporary road solution has been turned down by local members in their capacity as trustees, in the wake of investigations which revealed the number of trees which would need to be felled in order to accommodate a temporary access.

This development means that the application faces difficult decisions regarding access, which will be looked at on March 20 at the next Formartine Area Committee.

Cllr John Loveday said: “This is a sensitive matter and the committee has been faced with balancing the request from the developers with the requirements of the charter. Although there was some support for approving the request in principle, it was decided after a vote that the route would have an unacceptably detrimental impact on the amenity of the woodlands.”

The Times contacted Scotia Homes, however no-one was available to discuss the development at Castleton.