Harbour Care Home Plans Recommeded for Refusal

By Jane Cruickshank / May 17, 2021
gas works site with fencing

PLANNERS are recommending the refusal of planning permission for a care home on a former gas works site in Stonehaven, due to the problems of parking and access for service vehicles.

Scape Homes is seeking full planning permission for the erection of a 57-bed care home at land at Cowgate. Members of the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee will consider the proposals when they meet tomorrow.

There were 20 representations made in response to the application – all objections – citing concerns including parking, access for service and emergency vehicles and the design and impact of the building.

A finely balanced application

Gas works were present on the site from the 1860’s. These were closed in 1968, with various stages of decommissioning up to 1995. There is potential contamination, and investigations in 2010 identified significant sub-surface structures still present on site.

According to the report, the cost of clearing any contamination and existing structures makes it a site that would require, ‘a critical mass to deliver in order to make the redevelopment of the site financially viable’.

Typically such sites would be redeveloped for flats – but these would need room for parking and amenity land.

The report writer states: ”Therefore the provision of a care home, in principle appears to be a sensible solution for the site.”

And the building itself was deemed a ‘statement piece’ of architecture with a palette of materials considered to be of a high quality.

Parking and access prove to be stumbling block

Provision is made for a total of 26 car parking spaces: 21 within the current site and the remaining five on an adjacent SGN Governor site, which would be the subject of a separate application should this application ultimately be approved.

However the roads department said significant parking restrictions would have to be introduced on at least King Street, Cowgate and Wallace Wynd in order to allow safe access for service, refuse, construction and emergency service vehicles.

And, recommending refusal of the appliation, the report concludes: ”Despite the wider benefits of redeveloping this brownfield site, it has not been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Council that the development can be adequately accessed and serviced due to the tight and constrained nature of the local road network and creating pressure on the road network through potential erosion of existing parking which is already deficient in the area.”

The committee agenda, the report on the plans and a link to the meeting

The Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee meet tomorrow at 10 am. The consideration of Scape Homes’ proposals is item 10A on the agenda. The full agenda and a link to the live stream of the meeting are available online. A recording will be available on YouTube thereafter.

Previously in The Bellman