Planners back application to increase number of homes to 142 at proposed development

Council planners have backed plans to build almost 150 homes in the North-east.

Stewart Milne Homes is looking to build 142 homes at Carron Den in Stonehaven.

Elected members of the Kincardine and Mearns area committee have been asked to approve the proposals under a delegated grant.

The firm already has approval to build 109 on the site but moved to reduce the size of the homes from five bedrooms to two and three when new proposals were launched last year.

Stephen Archer, director of infrastructure services at Aberdeenshire Council, said: “The site currently has planning consent for 109 residential units.

“To date only 13 properties have been built where the access road enters the development and along the northern boundary of the site along the ridge above the Carron Water.

“The proposed 142 dwellings, in addition to the 13 already constructed, would increase the total number of dwellings to 155, 46 more than the 109 already approved.

“The development would include 43 affordable units amounting to 27.7% affordable housing provision.

“The initial proposal was for the erection of 147 dwellings in addition to the 13 constructed but this was reduced to 142 to accommodate an amended road layout.

“The applicant removed five open market units but retained the proposed number of affordable units.”

Three objections were lodged with Aberdeenshire Council against the Stewart Milne Homes plans, with increased pressure on educational facilities being raised, due to schools being near capacity.

Objectors also said that the plans were a significant departure from the original 109 homes that were applied for.

Mr Archer added that planners felt due to the level of engagement carried out by the developer that they were happy to accept the policy departure.

He said: “The proposal does not fully comply with the Local Development Plan (LDP) and the Planning Service is recommending approval of the application as a departure from LDP Policies H1: Housing land and P1: Layout siting and design, both of which require a masterplan which has gone through appropriate public consultation.

“The Planning Service consider it acceptable to depart from these policies in this regard, due to this requirement not being in place at the time of submission of the application, and that the level of engagement, consideration and consultation on the finalised content during consideration of this and previous applications is tantamount to a robust masterplan for the site.”