Harlaw Road plans to be discussed next week

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ABERDEENSHIRE Council’s Planning Officer has recommended that an application for planning permission in principle be approved for a redevelopment that will create hundreds of new jobs and assist in the regeneration of Inverurie’s vibrant town centre.

Offshore accommodation specialists Ferguson Modular Ltd, part of the Ferguson Group, lodged the application in 2010 for a mixed-use development, comprising a supermarket, 50 residential units plus associated roads and landscaping.

The proposed redevelopment will 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 report will go before the Garioch Area Committee at their next meeting on Tuesday, April 17.

Ferguson Modular had outgrown its current site at Harlaw Road and, as it was important to the North east business to keep operations in Aberdeenshire, some of its operations relocated last year to a new facility at Midmill Business Park, Kintore.

Mike Melville, Financial Director at the Ferguson Group, said: “We have been committed to this part of the north-east for more than 35 years and it was very important for us to remain within the area.

“As well as bringing a much-needed new project to Inverurie that will support a significant number of new jobs, our move to new premises gives us the ability and options to keep growing and taking on more staff while laying the groundwork for us to continue to expand internationally.

“From the outset we worked with all those with an interest in the site, particularly Colony Park Football Club. Over the last few years, Ferguson Modular has been liaising with representatives of the football club to understand their aspirations for the future, but importantly provide comfort that if the application is approved then a replacement football pitch and associated facilities will be provided for Colony Park Football Club prior to the commencement of any development at Harlaw Road.”

Gary Purves, a planner with Knight Frank said: “I am pleased that Aberdeenshire Council’s planning officer has recommended approval for the mixed use development proposals at Harlaw Road.

“If approved, these proposals will provide a unique opportunity to see the early delivery of one of the key components for Inverurie as identified in the Local Development Plan, which is anticipated should be adopted later this month by Aberdeenshire Council.’’