Harlaw Road development a step closer

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PLANNING permission in principle for a mixed use development, including a food store, 50 residential units and associated roads and landscaping was given the go-ahead by members of the Garioch Area Committee, following a vote, at their meeting on Tuesday, (May 29).

As was previously reported in the Herald, the plans by Ferguson Modular Ltd will see the proposed redevelopment take place on a ten-acre brownfield site to the north of the town, between Harlaw Road and the railway line. The application is the first phase of a larger master plan, which could see the eventual redevelopment of the Harlaw Road area including the Council Depot, the existing Ferguson Modular site and Colony Park.

The land is allocated for mixed use development in the forthcoming Local Development Plan.

SportScotland had withdrawn an earlier objection over the loss of the Colony Park ground, but the committee were informed that the development could not go-ahead until a replacement was in place.

Councillors expressed concerns over a lack of a connecting footpath and rail crossing to Uryside, the need to ensure the existing trees on site were protected, and the retail impact on existing shops in and around the Town Centre.

Following a long and detailed discussion, and having been addressed by Paul Douglas on behalf of the Colony 2020 Sub-committee, a vote was held and the motion to grant planning permission in principle was passed by nine votes to four.

Following the decision Mike Melville, Financial Director at the Ferguson Group, said: “We are delighted to have received approval by councillors today. This proposal offers the creation of a new development on a Brownfield site in the town centre that is accessible to the people of Inverurie and fits with the wider master plan for the whole area.

“Ferguson Group has been committed to this part of the North East for the past 35 years and our move to new facilities in Kintore has allowed us to continue to expand and employ increasing numbers of local people.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank Colony Park Football Club for their cooperation and valuable input. We have worked closely with representatives of the club for the last two years, and as a key element of today’s approval, we will continue to work with their representatives to ensure a replacement football pitch and associated facilities is provided for the club prior to the commencement of any development at Harlaw Road.”

Paul Douglas, Chair of Colony 2020, commented, “We will continue to work with those parties who propose to develop the site and have recently commissioned a feasibility study on the relocation of the park. We are delighted that the Council, SportScotland and indeed the Ferguson Group have agreed that no work will commence on this site until such time as an agreeable replacement facility is put in place and is in operation. The Club has grown dramatically over the last 35 years and that is set to continue over the coming decade and I believe that there is an opportunity here to replace Colony Park with a facility which will greatly enhance the sporting opportunities in Inverurie beyond our own club”.