AN application to build six flats at land adjacent to the Bennachie Lodge, Victoria Terrace, Kemnay was refused by members of the Garioch Area Committee at their recent meeting on Tuesday (February 26).
The application by Mr and Mrs Gauld as per Tinto Architecture Ltd, was subject to a site visit by councillors prior to the meeting.
The proposed development had generated seven letters of representation raising concerns that the new flats would be out of character with the surrounding area, concerns regarding over-development, the loss of trees and loss of privacy.
The committee were told that Aberdeenshire Council’s Planning and Environmental Service found that the design and principle of the development were acceptable and recommended the application for approval.
Area Planning Officer Darren Ross also told members that there was a pending draft Tree Preservation Order covering the whole of the site, and that it had been recommended that seven trees on the the frontage to Victoria Terrace were replaced, and as “non native species” this was acceptable.
West Garioch Councillor Allison Grant expressed concerns over the design, saying that the architects could “do so much better to fit it in”, and also that the she found the scale of the development would be “very imposing” on the surrounding area. She noted that at the moment the trees were the dominant feature in the area but that the new flats would be “much more dominant”.
Fellow West Garioch Councillor Sheena Lonchay, also raised concerns over the design and also the fact that it was the back of the proposed flats would visible on the “entrance to Kemnay.”
East Garioch Councillor Martin Ford noted that the design was “broadly in keeping” with those usually submitted, but that he wouldn’t “stand in the way of getting the design improved”.
West Garioch Councillor Patricia Oddie told the committee that the main concerns expressed to her by members of the community was not the proposed design but the height of the development.
Councillor Grant said that the development was a “typical modern block of flats” and that it was “out of keeping” with the surrounding houses. She moved to refuse the application on grounds of loss of amenity to neighbouring properties, over-development and design.
Councillor Ford said he didn’t think there were grounds for refusal and although the design was not “five star” he didn’t think it was out of context with the surrounding area.
The committee voted by 8 to 4 to refuse the application.