Plans for new homes in Sauchen deffered

A north-east Community Council has said it is “delighted” that councillors have deferred plans for 49 new homes in a north-east village after agreeing to carry out a site visit.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 6:36 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 6:36 am
Councillors will now make plans to visit the site in Sauchen in due course

Kirkwood Homes had applied to Aberdeenshire Council seeking planning permission to build the third and final phase of its new housing development at Sauchen.

The application went before the Garioch Area Committee on Tuesday, October 5.

The first phase of 23 properties have already been constructed and a further 27 in the second phase are currently being built.

This application replaced a previous one by Stewart Milne Homes that had received permission for 49 homes and associated works.

Kirkwood Homes has since taken on the site and intends to continue with the housing development.

Some amendments to the initial application have been made including the change of house types, new visitor parking provision and an extra section of footpath.

The 12 affordable homes proposed in the Stewart Milne Homes application will still be delivered as part of the new plan.

The proposed 49 homes would include a mix of two to six bedroom properties.

Prior to Tuesday’s meeting the application had received 40 objections and one letter of support.

Objectors had raised concerns about:

• Flooding

• Access provision into the site via previous phases of development is

inadequate for additional traffic

• Lack of pavements in previous phases of development is proving to be a

safety hazard

• Additional traffic will pose safety risk to residents

• Separate entry road into the site required permanently, especially for

construction traffic

• Lack of parking

• Inadequate emergency access arrangements

• Impact upon capacity of schools

• Loss of open space

• Level of open space provided is insufficient

• The proposal represents overdevelopment of the site

• Capacity of public drainage network to accommodate the proposal

• Lack of amenities being provided within the village as part of development

• Visual impact of development

• Pollution impact of the development

• The proposal lacks public transport connections

One resident commented: “Too many houses for a small village and taking up our valuable green space.

"The development gives no thought to the current residents in Sauchen.”

Another said: “Local schooling at Cluny Primary is nearing capacity and Alford Academy is in a similar situation.

"There are also houses being built at Millbank which also requires to be considered given it is the same catchment area for schooling.

"I am glad the developer can predict the number of children of school age that will be attending these schools.

Cluny, Midmar and Monymusk Community Council had also objected to the application based on flooding risks, potential sewer flooding and the “unsuitable” road and pavement layout in the housing scheme zone.

The Community Council also noted the strong concerns of residents expressed in recent meetings of residents in Sauchen.

The letter of support said the “proposal is in accordance with the masterplan and will provide much needed affordable housing in the area”.

Aberdeenshire Council planners had recommended the application be given a delegated grant.

They said that the layout of the site was “virtually the same” as what had previously been approved but noted some minor changes had been made.

They added that the application was “acceptable” in layout and design, and met all technical requirements.

Before the application was discussed councillor Iris Walker moved a motion that the committee carry out a site visit explaining that seeing the issues raised by objectors in person would enable the committee to come to a decision.

She added that it was also “essential” to see how the proposed development would fit with the existing phases.

However, councillor Marion Ewanson moved an amendment that members see the council planners’ presentation before making a decision about the need for a site visit.

Following a vote the motion for a site visit received nine votes to five for the amendment.

Speaking after the meeting Cluny, Midmar and Monymusk Chairman Richard Fyffe said the group was “delighted” that the site visit had been agreed as it would help to bring the issues raised to light.

Mr Fyffe added “It is really important as there have been so many objections and people have genuine concerns.

“We believe the access through Cluny Meadows is not fit for purpose and there is also the safety aspect of it.”

The group believes the proposed roads would be too narrow and could become “a potential issue” for large delivery vehicles, emergency vehicles and fuel deliveries.

The Community Council would like to see the temporary access bridge to the north of the site made permanent.

Mr Fyffe added that it was “critical” that the council and developer get the proposal right.

Councillors will now visit the Sauchen site before making a final determination next month.