Major Netherley application refused by full council

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PLANS for a major development on land next to Lairhillock Primary School in Netherley have been rejected by Aberdeenshire Council.

Bancon Developments had wanted to build a mixed use development, including 70 houses, five commercial units and a children’s nursery on the site, but the area is not zoned for housing in either the existing or upcoming local development plan.

At a meeting of the Full Council last Thursday, members unanimously agreed to refuse the application for 70 houses and six commercial units including a children’s nursery. Members of Kincardine and Mearns area committee had already reccommended that the application be refused.

Council officials had also reccommended refusal, saying that it “does not meet specific criteria for acceptability.”

They added that the application was “premature”, as the new local development plan is due to be published in the next few months.

Speaking at the Kincardine and Mearns area committee meeting last month before the decision was made, Mearns Councillor George Carr said: “There is a lot of merit in the design and layout of this application but we can’t get away from the fact that it is outwith the local plan.

“It’s got a lot of merit, but put it in a different place. It is quite clear in my mind, we can’t go against the local plan.”

28 letters of representation were received from members of the public about the application, 27 of which were against the development. Objections included worries that it was not allocated within the current or proposed local development plans and so may set an unwelcome precedent in the development plan process, and concerns over the urbanisation of the countryside.

Other concerns suggested that the inadequacy of the local and regional road network and infrastructure would generate private car use.