New town gets its first residents...

Laim and Kelly Syme in front of their new home.
Laim and Kelly Syme in front of their new home.

A newlywed couple from Aberdeen became the first residents of Chapelton, Scotland’s first new town in a generation, last weekend.

With outline planning permission for 4025 new homes, Chapelton, to the west of Newtonhill, is being developed to meet the needs of the North- east’s growing population. In the long term, the town will have 8000 homes.

Kelly and Liam Syme were married last year at Drumtochty Castle, Laurencekirk. The couple were welcomed to their new home by 12 of the town’s workmen, including the three house-builders AJC, Stephen and ZeroC, alongside construction services company W M Donald, who formed a guard of honour – replacing swords with spades.

Lord Southesk, director of Elsick Development Company - which is leading the development - said: “This is a landmark day for Chapelton.

“After five years of planning and significant investment, a new community is being born. By the end of the month, the Symes will be joined by a dozen other residents – and by the end of this year they will be one of up to 100 households able to enjoy the town’s first neighbourhood, including a café, nursery school and dental practice.

“Schools, health care facilities, parks and community buildings will follow, as we build our seven neighbourhoods.”

Liam said: “We feel extremely privileged to have been given such a warm reception into Chapelton and our new home. This is a very exciting day for us and the celebrations have made it really special.

“Chapelton offers us a bright future. We can’t wait to start our lives together in a community that is only just starting out itself.”

Just 10 months after work started on site, Chapelton has attracted over 4000 visitors to its latest show-homes, with sales now reaching around 65 per cent of properties available.

Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, said: “Welcoming the first residents to Chapelton is a significant milestone for the North-east. This is a great model of planning, that encompasses broad public engagement and sustainable design, resulting in attractive homes, community facilities and green spaces. I look forward to seeing the town take shape.”

n To see how 2000 acres of Aberdeenshire farmland will be transformed into Scotland’s largest new town, you can watch this short film on Chapelton’s website: http://chapeltonofelsick.com/gallery.