Ellon and District councillor Rob Merson has welcomed the final approval of the Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan by councillors at a meeting of Full Council in Woodhill House last week.
The plan, which has been the subject of wide public consultation, forms the backdrop for future development in Aberdeenshire. It now goes to Scottish Ministers for formal approval.
Cllr. Merson remarked: “I am pleased that, following a mammoth public consultation exercise which has taken considerable time to complete, we are now in a position to progress the new Local Development Plan to full implementation in the near future. A huge amount of work has been done, and the Aberdeenshire LDP was the first to be submitted to the Reporter.
“Very few changes were required to the Plan as proposed; however, the local elected members were rightly aggrieved that the Reporter should have sought to summarily amend the proposals for Newburgh. Having arrived at those proposals through extensive consultation with the local community, it was very disappointing that the Reporters should have allowed themselves to be influenced to change the plan as a result of a couple of responses from consultees with vested interests. That notwithstanding, the Council planners were confident that the aspiration for the provision of a relief road can still be achieved for Newburgh.
“This has been a trail-blazing process for the Scottish Government as well as the local authorities, and I am pleased that the Ministers have been receptive to criticism of shortcomings which have arisen in the commission of the LDP. I am confident that those comments will be taken on board, and that we will see changes brought about to address them in the future.”
Final approval of the LDP by the Scottish Government will also open the way for the development of the Cromleybank site in Ellon.