Major housing plans for Newtonhill

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Proposals for a massive new housing development at Newtonhill, which have attracted more than 650 objections, will be brought before councillors next week.

Barratt North Scotland wants to create 121 homes to the south of the village featuring a blend of cottage flats, semi-detached, terraced and detached properties.

And in a report to the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee meeting on Tuesday, Aberdeenshire Council’s director of infrastructure services Stephen Archer is recommending the plans be delegated for approval.

Objectors – including Newtonhill, Muchalls and Cammachmore Community Council – claim that in approving the earlier Chapelton development there had effectively been a ‘promise’ that there would be no need for further housing in Newtonhill.

They also claim that Chapleton has ‘stalled or slowed down’ and that existing number of houses for sale in Muchalls and Newtonhill suggest there is no market for additional housing.

Further objections have been made with regards to negative impact on access and safety on a core path between Newtonhill and Muchalls, education capacity, health infrastructure and loss of green recreational space.

Mr Archer will tell councillors that the local authority supports the proposed affordable housing mix and is satisfied with the proposed integration on the grounds this proposal meets identified housing need.

Neither the roads department nor transportation service have objected to the proposals.

Education and children’s services recently completed a capacity review of all primary schools in Aberdeenshire including Newtonhill where the capacity as of August this year will be 459.

Mr Archer’s report states: “The uplift in capacity for Newtonhill and a slower than expected build-out rate for another development in the catchment means that Newtonhill School is not forecast to exceed capacity for several years until 2024.

“This is still subject to change in future years if the completion rates of houses in the catchment continue to be lower than expected. While there is no delivery date yet for a school at Chapelton, long term that would alleviate any capacity pressure in the future at Newtonhill School.”

In terms of the infrastructure compact, he continues: “In short there is sufficient educational capacity to support the proposed additional units, affordable housing would be provided at an early stage and the additional housing proposed would help support local services and amenities.

“The proposed additional housing is therefore not seen to have any negative impacts on existing infrastructure that cannot be addressed by condition or developer obligations.”

Barratt North Scotland has told the council that current market conditions and the critical shortfall in the delivery of housing in the South Aberdeenshire Strategic Growth Area, including at Chapleton, suggests a more flexible approach is required to provide a supply of private and affordable housing.

Mr Archer will report: “The developer suggests the lack of choice for prospective buyers in the local area could be addressed by the proposed development, particularly with regard to ensuring large-scale delivery and fits well with current market conditions.

“In this instance, the planning service is satisfied that sufficient justification has been provided to support the proposed increase in number of units above that allocated in the LDP.

“There will be no negative infrastructure impacts from the additional housing proposed and the proposal will be appropriately designed, laid out and of a compatible scale, nature and finish.”