School expansion approved by council

AN extension to Balmedie Primary School has been given planning approval, following a meeting of local councillors at the Formartine Area Committee on Tuesday.

The decision, which will see the addition of two further classrooms on the existing site, received unanimous approval from councillors present.

Concerns had earlier been expressed by Belhelvie Community Council over implications for access to the site. However, following a revision to the plans, which will see additional parking spaces added for teachers and for pupil drop-offs, it was noted that no further comment had been received.

Discussion took place over the traffic flow around the school, with Cllr Debra Storr calling for further consultation on implementing a one-way system around Forsyth Road and Drive, as she felt this could be beneficial. However, this was dismissed by Cllr Allan Hendry, who said that a one-way system was unwanted by residents, and risked leading to drivers travelling at an increased speed if they didn’t have to take account of oncoming traffic. Officials present committed to monitoring the situation ‘as a matter of course’.

The committee also discussed the consultation process over the closure of the current Ellon Academy. Council Leader Anne Robertson questioned the need for consultation when the closure was happening as part of plans to build a replacement school. Officials confirmed that clarification was being sought on this point from the Scottish Government.

In further discussions, the meeting approved plans to spend nearly £120,000 to upgrade the Gordon Park Pavilion and the Ythan Centre in line with the Disability Discrimination Act

The meeting also considered the proposed new policy on Disabled Persons’ Parking Places, as well as granting planning permission for wind turbines at Beechlea, near Methlick, at Mains of Knapperna, near Udny, and retrospectively for signage for Tarves pharmacy. Councillors also agreed to commit £2,500 of top-up funding towards a new village hall in Daviot.