Homes plan for Ellon Academy site

A new housing development on the site of the former Ellon Academy has been approved.

Thursday, 17th December 2020, 6:41 am

Plans to build 40 new homes on the former academy site were given a delegated grant by members of the Formartine Area Committee on Tuesday, December 8.

The proposal to build homes and flats on the town centre site was previously considered by the committee last month, however it was deferred for more information.

Following approval a total of 16 houses and 24 flats will be built on the western side of the site along with associated infrastructure including car parking space and an open “home zone” space for residents.

The plans had received 31 objections raising concerns on issues including lack of shops, lack of community facilities and over-provision of housing on the site and wider area. However, Aberdeenshire Council planners had recommended the plans be given a delegated grant.

At the last meeting councillors asked for clarification on a number of matters including the location of bin storage, the removal of the Golf Road pedestrian crossing, traffic on Schoolhill Road, and electric vehicle charging points.

At Tuesday’s meeting councillors were informed that charging spaces would not be provided, the pedestrian crossing would not be replaced but dropped curb crossings could be installed on Schoolhill Road, Gordon Terrace and Golf Road, and bin storage would be relocated to the rear of the proposed Schoolhill Road properties.

Councillors were also told that traffic on Schoolhill Road is “not significant” and was busier when the former academy was in use.

Councillor Gillian Owen said that she was fully supportive of the concept of the development and the affordable housing but said she still had concerns about the proposed homes on Schoolhill Road saying that they seemed “disconnected” from the rest of the development.

Cllr Owen added she was concerned about the removal of trees on the site and couldn’t accept the proposal without a new pedestrian crossing, adding that dropped kerbs “do not have the same safety status”.

Councillor Anouk Kloppert raised concerns about the number of trees to be felled on the site and loss of green space.

She said it would have an “unacceptable impact on Ellon, the environment and the local community” and moved a motion to refuse the application.

Supporting the application Councillor Jim Gifford said: “We have been complaining that this site has been sitting empty for far too long and it has been. We approved the masterplan and this pretty well fits that masterplan.

“It’s a good layout, a good design and I’m also happy with the houses along the street, it has worked well in other towns and villages, a very traditional old Scottish design of how houses used to be.”

The matter was put to a vote with the amendment to approve the plans receiving eight votes to three for the motion to refuse.