Developers win Udny Green housing appeal

Developers have successfully appealed after housing plans at Udny Green were turned down.

Claymore Homes challenged Aberdeenshire Council’s decision to refuse a nine-house project on land to the east of the primary school.

The proposals were in place of six previously approved as part of a development of 15 houses. They were given the go-ahead in relation to the scheme in October, 2006.

Following a site visit in June, Scottish Government Reporter Philip Hutchinson has allowed the appeal and granted full permission, subject to 12 conditions.

The housing application was rejected in March this year.

It was deferred at a meeting of Formartine Area Committee in November last year for the Udny Green Design Brief to be amended and the community council to be formally consulted on the brief.

It was further deferred by the committee in January when members did not agree the design brief. Planning officials had recommended refusal of the application.

In his written decision, Mr Hutchinson said the key issues were whether the change of house types and an extra three properties would be consistent with the development plan, and if not, whether other material considerations justified a development plan departure or alternatively refusal on some other basis.

He stated: “In my experience it is not remotely unusual for a site’s capacity to be expressed as an approximation at development plan stage.

“This is invariably well before detailed proposals are worked up, and a little latitude is not at all unusual by the time an application is determined.

“I agree that increases from six houses to nine, or from 15 houses to 18 probably lies at the limits of reasonable flexibility.

“However, I am not convinced that those limits would be crossed to a serious extent.”

Mr Hutchinson added that the layout had “little changed” from that which already has planning permission - a row of two-storey houses down the eastern side of the development.

He said: “The position of the estate road is physically fixed, leaving no credible scope for a significantly different layout or changes to individual house sites.”

The Reporter said he found the council’s reasons for refusal “untenable”.