Councillors at the Formartine Area Committee have approved plans for a new cemetery on the outskirts of Ellon.
Aberdeenshire Council submitted plans for the first of a three-phase development for the new cemetery that will be located near Auchterellon Farm on the A948 Ellon to Auchnagatt road.
Councillors discussed the proposals on Tuesday, May 21 and agreed to approve the development, despite its departure from the Local Development Plan.
The plan was submitted as the town’s existing cemetery on Castle Road is rapidly approaching full capacity, with no scope to extend.
The new cemetery will provide 285 casket lairs and 1,183 lairs in the first phase alongside a car park and memorial garden.
Ythan Community Council had objected to the proposed site, citing difficulties with access for those using public transport and the potential impact on any future rail link with Ellon Park and Ride.
Speaking at the meeting, cllr Anouk Kloppert said: “This location is quite an improvement on previous sites.
“Although bus frequencies could improve it could encourage people to walk there, it is a 20 minute walk from the town centre and ten minutes from the nearest bus stop.”
Cllr Richard Thomson added: “I very much welcome this application coming forward, I was never persuaded with the other proposed site given it was slap bang in the middle of an industrial estate.
“Councillors have pushed to receive the best outcome for the town and in the future I would like to see a link to the former Buchan and Formartine railway line.
“This is the best possible outcome and it shows the flexibility of Aberdeenshire Council and that should be praised.”
Meanwhile cllr Gillian Owen commented: “I also welcome this report and I concurr with cllr Thomson regarding the flexibility of Aberdeenshire Council, I would like to congratulate officers for this.
“I would plea with Stagecoach to add services as a facility for those who can’t drive or for those who are unable to walk so far.
“I also welcome the introduction of the proposed speed limit of 50mph and I would be more than happy to recommend the proposal.
The plan was unanimously backed by the Formartine Area Committee.