Councillors have approved plans for five new houses at a former farm complex at Kinharrachie near Ellon.
Recognising that the plans from Annie Kenyon Architects had been designed to a high standard, members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC) backed them 8-6.
The development will now see the replacement of an existing steading, Dutch barn and red brick shed with five houses.
Members of the Formartine Area Committee recently approved the development against the recommendation of planners subject to appropriate planning conditions.
The ISC heard from planners that the proposals were of a “good high quality design” which the council wanted to encourage and that visually it was a good addition to the steadings site. But policy limits development to up to three units on sites that qualify as redevelopment sites.
Councillors were told the “whole ethos of policy” would be diluted if more than three homes were approved at the site.
In response, architect Annie Kenyon reminded councillors that there had been no objections from neighbouring properties or consultees and said she was “very proud” of the scheme which had been designed.
Councillor Paul Johnston put forward a motion to approve four houses but to refuse the property on the site of the Dutch barn as its demolition could set an undesirable precedent for development of other buildings of this nature.
But Councillor Colin Pike said they were dealing with a “reasoned application” with no objections which was utilising a vacant brownfield site.
Committee chair Councillor Peter Argyle agreed, saying there were “serious mitigating reasons” to support the application and suggested it was a reasonable departure from policy.