Newesk benefits

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The plans revealled for the new community of Newesk, on the site of the former RAF Edzell Base has got everyone talking, but the residents of the existing small community of Edzell Woods have tabled their own requests as to what they would like to see happen.

At last week’s meeting of Mearns Community Council, chairman David Nelson said that an application for planning permission in principle for 1,000 houses as well as retail, commercial and distribution on the former base.

The meeting was attended by Linda Wilson, chair of the Edzell Woods Owners Group, who said the plans had only been available for a few days and her group had yet to digest them.

“EWOG is very much in favour of the development and we hope it will be an integrated settlement.

“Developments like this are supposed to include affordable housing. We understand something like 75 affordable houses will be built and the developers will be asked to make a contribution of cash in kind for affordable housing elsewhere.

“Edzell Woods is a private estate and we are responsible for our own infrastructure.

“Our hope is that our sewage treatment works will be upgraded and taken over.

“Our roads and street lights also need upgrading, so it would be wrong for the affordable housing money to be taken away and spent elsewhere.

“A previous application for five houses on the site of the former school in Edzell Woods was subject to a developer contribution of £30,000 but that was taken and spent outwith the area.

“We want to make sure that does not happen again. Planning gain must not be allowed to go outwith the area.

“It has been suggested that the development will see 200 extra pupils go to Mearns Academy, so we can see the need for a contribution there.

“We want to know exactly when the sewage plant will be take over. We want them to take over the entire system and the detail must be pinned down now.”

Mrs Wilson said the whole flood plain of the area should be looked at now before housing and industry is built and they have to get it right first time.

Edzell Woods representative Ken Donald said the Northwaterbridge junction would also have to be upgraded.

Council member Jim Stuart agreed saying that they should push for planning gain to go to the junction as so much more traffic would put its viability under stress.

David Nelson said that they should say that they support in principle the application but that they also support the concerns of the Edzell Woods residents to ensure that all the necessary infrastructe is there.