Plans for homes at a north-east estate have been recommended for approval.
The Formartine area committee is to discuss CALA Homes’ proposals to build 36 homes on land to the south-west of Meldrum House Hotel when it meets on Tuesday.
Meldrum House has struggled to find a buyer for the original enabling aspect of the development, and is still repaying debt incurred from reinstating the A-listed stables, therefore has brought a development forward with CALA Homes for the area.
A previous application was submitted for 50 homes in 2017, but it was found there wasn’t sufficient information to justify the development, therefore it was withdrawn.
The new plans include 36 homes, and use the golf course and established trees to provide separation from Meldrum House and the stable block.
Council planners have recommended they are given the go ahead.
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A report which will be heard by councillors, states: “The applicant has, by independent verification, demonstrated that 36 houses is reasonably required to achieve a residual land value equal to the restoration costs of the stables.
“On this basis the Planning Service recommends this application for approval as an acceptable departure from the Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan 2017.”
Ross Maclennan, Land Director at CALA Homes (North), said: “This application has been many months in the making, in close collaboration with Meldrum House Estate and the planning team at Aberdeenshire Council. Our key priority throughout has been to improve upon the previously approved plans for the land.
“We are aware that there has been concern over the removal of trees on the land, however as we seek to progress and improve the previously agreed development in partnership with the Estate, we have been very mindful of the unique surroundings of the location and remain committed to ensuring any development is sympathetic to the natural environment.
“Our new proposals see a net improvement of 13.17 acres of trees versus the previously approved scheme. A further 10.37 acres of woodland is also proposed for planting, supplementing around 33 acres planted by Meldrum House over the years – something which was not part of the existing consents.
“Our proposal also sees smaller, less intrusive pockets of homes than those previously approved, reflecting our desire to safeguard the character of the area.
“We look forward to the Council’s decision in due course.”