North-east council urged to spend funds on new park and ride

A possible site for the park and ride facility at Portlethen
A possible site for the park and ride facility at Portlethen

Aberdeenshire Council has been urged to spend developer contributions on a park and ride facility in a north-east town.

Proposals to build the multi-million-pound facility north of Portlethen have been in the pipeline for years.

However, discussions with officers at Aberdeenshire Council have been continuing to find a suitable location.

Now councillors have raised concerns over the lack of progress on the site.

It had been agreed that part of the £13.4 million needed to build the facility would come from developer contributions.

This would come from cash handed over from the Stewart Milne Group as part of conditions attached to the building of its housing development at Hillside.

It was previously reported that £662,000 of this money would be used to pay for the park and ride site, although Aberdeenshire Council said it was unable to confirm the exact figure.

Discussions took place in private at the Kincardine and Mearns area committee meeting last week.

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And a statement released by chairwoman Wendy Agnew said members of the committee have urged the council to use the money.

She said: “Councillors spent considerable time discussing reports from officers on plans for sustainable transport options in Portlethen, which included a park and ride facility north of the town.

“Discussions have been ongoing for a number of years to find and fund a suitable location for the original facility.

“On Tuesday the area committee instructed officers to seek to fully utilise an amount of developer obligation money by the end of June.

“These funds were received from the Stewart Milne Group to fund local sustainable transport options, arising from their housing development at Hillside.

“Members discussed the potential for an alternative approach, and expressed concern about the lack of progress with the proposed park and ride development.”

Under the legal agreement between the developer and the local authority, the money must be spent on the facility.

Concerns had previously been raised by residents that the community would lose out on the money.

Councillor Agnew added: “The views of the committee will be fed back to the regional and national transport bodies following consideration by the relevant policy committee regarding the park and ride.

“Meanwhile, a further report will come back to the committee in July to update councillors on the allocation of the developer obligation funds to various sustainable transport projects.

“The meeting was held in private session on account of confidential financial information within it.”