Councillors have had their first look at ambitious plans to develop Foveran.
A masterplan to transform the community with up to 175 houses, including a new village centre and education provision, was considered on Tuesday by Formartine Area Committee.
There was a broad welcome from members but they decided to defer the proposals to allow further discussions with the developers.
One concern voiced by the committee was that there would be little to link the proposed development with the existing village.
Harper and Cochrane Ltd are behind the masterplan and have brought in chartered architects and town planners Halliday Fraser Munro to develop their vision for Foveran.
It is planned to link the village by a series of footpaths to allow for school expansion, or for a new school to be built, and to create open space.
Planners recommended approval of the scheme.
In a report before the committee, infrastructure services director Stephen Archer said: “The fundamental aim of the process is to ensure that future development of a site will be designed to the highest standards, integrate with surrounding land uses, and provide much-needed upgraded infrastructure and services.
“The vision to create a high-quality sustainable expansion to Foveran echoes through the content of the document.”
Ellon and District Councillor Richard Thomson described the masterplan as “a very impressive document”.
He said: “My main concern lies in the fact that there would be, as things stand, very little to connect the new development with the existing village.
“Everything relies on a future allocation in the development plan which may or may not happen.
“Broadly speaking, the masterplan is a very impresive document which sets out an exciting vision for the future development of Foveran.
“With beter connectivity from the outset, this has the potential to be a positive addition to the area.”