Souterford proposals backed

Feedback from Taylor Wimpey’s community event at the Acorn Centre last week has returned a phenomenal amount of positive feedback for the Souterford development.

The turnout was great with around 150 people attending the two-day event last Friday and Saturday to view the proposal for up to 300 new homes, including 25 per cent affordable housing. Also included is a potential new primary school, community facilities and open space, The development was backed by 75 per cent of respondents, with a six per cent opposition and 19 per cent undecided.

Over 94 per cent said it was important for new development in Inverurie to be within walking distance of the town centre and railway station while 80 per cent Taylor Wimpey’s plans would address a need for housing in Inverurie

The indicative design of the proposals was liked by 86 per cent, 77 per cent said they thought Souterford would be a good location for a new primary school in Inverurie. Eight per cent disagreed and 16 per cent were unsure.

Although Aberdeenshire Council’s draft Local Development Plan classifies Souterford as a ‘future option’ for development, the majority said they wanted to see it brought forward now, with only one third saying it should remain a future option.

Paul Hughes, Strategic Land Manager for Taylor Wimpey, said: “We were delighted with the big turnout at our community engagement event. The feedback shows people are overwhelmingly in favour of our proposal for Souterford.

“Three quarters stated that they backed our plans, with even higher numbers saying they liked the care that has gone into our design for the site, which includes lots of green space and a mix of house types suitable for a range of budgets.

“People were almost unanimous in wanting any new development in Inverurie to be close to the town centre and railway station. Souterford is the closest development site to this area, being only five to ten minutes’ walk away.

“We’ve set aside land for a new primary school, should Aberdeenshire Council wish to pursue this option and it’s interesting that nearly eight out of ten people backed the site for the new school.

“Meanwhile, a clear majority disagreed with Souterford’s current designation as a future option in the Local Development Plan and said it should be brought forward as soon as possible.

“This is a resounding thumbs-up and we hope this is taken into account when we submit our planning application to Aberdeenshire Council, which we anticipate will happen later this year.”

Taylor Wimpey has made the exhibition boards from the event and a feedback form available on the dedicated website about so that people who were unable to attend in person can view the plans and give their views before September 9.

The website, www.souterfordinverurie.com, has received more than 500 hits in its first three weeks.