Appeal fails in bid to overturn rejection of plans for supermarket and 250 homes near Stonehaven

An artist’s impression of the rejected plan for Mains of Cowie.

The Scottish Government has rejected an appeal to overturn a decision to turn down plans to build a supermarket, school and 250 homes in the North-east.

Stewart Milne Homes has been unsuccessful in its appeal over Aberdeenshire Council’s decision to thrown out plans to develop the houses, a school, community facilities and a 4,000sqm supermarket in the Mains of Cowie area of Stonehaven.

Councillors turned down the plans but approved a supermarket, 50-bedroom hotel and restaurant on the Ury Estate, submitted by the FM Group, the firm behind an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course for the area.

And the Scottish Government has now rejected the Mains of Cowie appeal, stating the one supermarket at Ury Estate will be enough to serve the region.

In his decision, David Russell, a reporter appointed by the Scottish Ministers, said: “The reporters concluded the decision to grant planning permission for the Ury Estate site had undermined the potential justification for the allocation of land at Mains of Cowie for retail development, and they did not recommend that the plan should be modified to include such an allocation.”

The Scottish Government said: “The appellant has subsequently suggested that granting planning permission in principle would still be justified in relation to the retail element, mainly because the appeal site remains better related to the town.

“However, as that does not mean that appropriate retailers would not be willing to operate from the Ury Estate site, the potential for two substantial retail developments to be implemented cannot be discounted.”

Stewart Milne Homes’ original plans for 400 homes at the Mains of Cowie were rejected by the Kincardine and Mearns area committee in 2015.

A scaled-down version of the development was then submitted to the council.

Despite this, the Scottish Government added that no allocation has been made in the local development plan for a new primary school in Stonehaven.