Concerns raised over Marykirk development

Mearns Community Council (MCC) have raised concerns over a development at Marykirk, following their monthly meeting this week.

An application for 19 houses at Kirkton Place is currently live with Aberdeenshire council .

However, the community council - which met on Monday night - has raised concerns over a number of issues within the development.

In their response, the MCC has highlighted traffic, education and infrastructure issues regarding the site.

The response states: “Mearns Community Council is concerned about many issues relating to this application and wishes to respond by objecting to the planning application.”

“Kirktonhill Road is extremely narrow and could be considered to be effectively single track.

‘‘The bend at the school is very tight, giving rise to unacceptably low visibility, particularly when considering any increase in traffic.

‘‘A higher level of traffic volume on this road would compromise the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike.

‘‘Of particular concern is the increase in risk factors regarding the security of pupils walking to school.”

Regarding education issues, a research and analysis officer for Aberdeenshire Council has said that this development would not take the school over capacity.

However, MCC have stated: “We do not agree with the education statement that forecasts the application will not put the school over capacity.

‘‘Aberdeenshire Council has stated that Marykirk school capacity is 47 pupils.

“The roll at present is 39. We are informed that the formula to predict primary school numbers is 0.4 per household.

“Should the 19 houses be built at Kirktonhill Road, there would be a predicted increase of seven to eight pupils.

“Not being taken into account is the fact that, in the last two years, there has been planning permission granted for 10 houses in the Marykirk catchment area.

‘‘Using the same formula, this would give rise to a further four children.

‘‘This additional number of 11 or 12 would take the school roll over capacity.

“It is also important to recognise the pending application for a further 30 houses in Marykirk, to the north of Wester Balmanno.

“This application has been recommended for approval and would give a prediction of an increase of 12 to the school roll. This gives a final figure of 62 or 63, which is well over the stated capacity.”

The application has so far received 16 public comments, ranging from neutral to objection.

Many have mentioned potential traffic issues, owing to Marykirk being situated on the A937 which is a main commuter route to Aberdeen, adding more traffic flow through the village which MCC said was already “unacceptably high.”

The community council concluded: “It is appreciated that, theoretically, this application should be considered under the Local Development Plan 2009.

‘‘However, as this relates to local conditions of six years ago, we believe that the many changes in the community and the infrastructure - together with problems relating to site EH1 - should be taken into account.

“These have been recognised by members of Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee, when it was recommended at the meeting of May 6, 2014, that the site EH1 be removed from the Local Development Plan 2016.”