It’s My Opinion by Jack Nixon

THE growth of Ellon as a town has been the source of debate over the years, attracting views from both side of the spectrum, including the anti lobby, and those who have much to gain from more houses being built.

My own view is one that much of the development has been good for the East Gordon town, bringing in business for our hard pressed traders, even if much of it goes to the great cathedral of supermarkets on the hill.

If I have a concern about the never ending building programme, it is in respect of the location of new housing in the town.

In particular I’m not convinced of the need to create another block of 62 dwelling houses on the site of what is now the Haldane’s.

The supermarket is surely one of the retail outlets we should be protecting. A view shared by the chief executive of the chain.

But while I’m unhappy, or rather have reservations about the scheme, it’s nothing compared to my disappointment, even amazement that planning permission has been given to erect 49 houses in Hospital Road in Ellon.

Over the last two years this area of the town, which is in fact a designated by-pass, linking the roads to Aberdeen, Peterhead and Fraserburgh to the town centre and all points west, has been a source of concern for those who use the road.

It is nothing less than a disaster for drivers who choose to be responsible, avoiding the pile up of traffic in the town centre, but faced with an unholy build up on a narrow not fit for purpose link.

Building 49 houses is not going to go down well with local residents, drivers and even pedestrians.

If you don’t believe me, just take a run up there between 8am and 9am any morning from Monday to Friday each week.

No on second thoughts give it a miss, if you want to keep your blood pressure at a reasonable level.

It’s not a new issue, as I have drawn my concerns to the attention of local members, challenging them to take a run up the offending road with me.

Not surprisingly I have no response, though I like to think our elected members made a site visit prior to agreeing the project, but maybe I assume too much.

I can’t comment on the stance taken by Ellon Community Council who are charged with dealing with all things planning, but I like to think they at least discussed it and expressed a view to Aberdeenshire Council.

If they were opposed to the 49 houses I applaud their perception of the problem, even I never heard or read of their deliberations.

The public are entitled to be represented, although I fear their views are rarely heard by those in authority, which is a desperate state of affairs for all of us who believe in the democratic process.

Not for a minute am I suggesting the planners are out of control, even if I think that much of the development is not in the interests of the public at large.

Ellon has become a satellite town, full of commuters who in a number of cases could not care less about what happens during the hours they spend in the town.

A sad, sad state of affairs.