A community leader has hit out at options for the A96 upgrade works, saying there is “huge frustration” about the plans.
Kintore Community Council vice-chairman Ken McEwen said there was a “lack of planning” by Transport Scotland over the dualling project.
A public consultation is currently taking place and it’s hoped the final route for the east of Huntly section will be chosen next year.
Ken said all options presented will still negatively affect residents in the area, with the west route impacting on the Davah area close to Inverurie.
He added the east route would hit a broad swathe of land from Daviot, through Barra, to Keithhall and Balbithan.
He said: “There is huge frustration over the plans.
“The routes will take in a huge amount of agricultural land in what is a very productive area.
“Objections and concerns have been building around Kintore for some time.
“It is especially disappointing as this could have been avoided if it weren’t for the poor planning decisions that had been made.”
Ken said the proposed route options would not have been needed if restrictions had been put in place around the current A96.
He said: “Myself and a number of people are pretty unsettled about it all because of a number of things.
“I had understood that when the road was built, it was with an eye to the future and there was an expectation that there would be a need to dual the road at a later date.
“I also understood that there had been a ban on building anything close to the A96 in order to allow for it to be widened in the future. But at some point houses were built by the embankment of the road.
“What this means is that it is no longer an option to widen the existing road and we have to look at other options that are far more complicated and expensive. It is clear if you look at a map that it is likely to cost millions of pounds.”
Ken is now encouraging residents to attend the latest community council meeting on Tuesday to voice their views about the plans.
He said: “I anticipate a very interested and animated meeting at our next meeting on Tuesday.
“There should be a lot of controversy as there has been a significant amount of concern in the community about this so far.”
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson also encourage residents to give their views, adding: “The vital feedback we receive will help inform the design and assessment work as we look to identify a preferred route option next year.”
To view the full plans, visit bit.ly/2yzeFJL