Apologies for a very tardy report on an item on the agenda at the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee of June 29 – I was on holiday so not paying full attention! But since The Bellman had given full coverage of this application, I felt an update was required.
COUNCILLORS have stymied the progress of a Ury Estate road by refusing a consultation process needed before the new road may become part of the public road network.
A redetermination order is needed for the East Lodge link road to be sign-posted and connected to the Netherley Road. This order can only be granted following a consultation process.
This may seem like a final winning gesture by the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee who refused planning permission for the link road when it came before them in March 2020 – citing concerns about the junction design and impact on residents within the housing estate. They were also unhappy about the loss of ancient woodland within the Polbare tree belt.
But the developer already has all permissions necessary for a road dating back to 2014 (and amended in a later application in 2015) – though one no-one believes is the best design as this version would have a greater impact on the landscape. It should also be noted this layout sees the East Lodge gate blocked off, necessitating a detour along the Netherley road to access the estate.
Appeal won as 2020 link road was improvement to older design
When they appealed the councillors’ 2020 refusal, Kirkwood Homes stated their second proposal, ”provides a more direct, logical and better designed access solution to serve the development, which also comes with less of a landscape impact than the currently consented link road connection to the Netherley Road.”
The Reporter appointed by the Scottish Ministers agreed.
In his decision letter, Trevor A Croft, makes many references to the road layout first approved in 2014.
In effect, many of the objections to the second proposals, were discounted because of this earlier road scheme, which would have an equal or more detrimental effect than the design he was considering.
He also noted there is compensatory planting of 1,120 trees and 345 shrubs included in the newer proposals – there is none in the existing permission which would fell 82 treees in the Polbare belt and see extensive cutting into the hillside.
So what now?
An Aberdeenshire Council spokesperson said: ”The report before the recent area committee was seeking approval to begin consultation around the creation of the roads order that would be required to allow the route that was approved on appeal to be constructed instead.
”The committee decided not to support the recommendation to begin that process following a vote (5-3), on the grounds that the alternative route would be departing from roads standards, it would have poor visibility splays, and that it would lead to the narrowing of the road for agricultural vehicles.”
So is this the shape of Ury going forward?
Or, does the developer have another possibility?
In the report for the committee of March 24, 2020 it was noted the decision had previouslybeen deferred both for a site visit, and to seek additional information in relation to the process and route of appeal of a Traffic Regulation Order.
This advice concluded: ”In the event of the Council not granting an Order, there is no statutory route of appeal, however there would be the option of Judicial Review to review the decision and actions of the Council. ”
This agenda item commences at 22 mins.