Worry over industrial development plans

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Community councillors have voiced concern about the possibility of Ellon being left with two partially-developed industrial sites.

The potential for such a scenario was raised at the council’s monthly meeting on Monday.

Councillors heard from representatives of a developer who recently gained planning permission to build industrial units on a site to the north of the Tesco roundabout.

Members were interested to hear of the plans for the future which should see more industrial units locate to Ellon, bringing with them the economic benefits of jobs and associated spend into the town.

However, they also expressed concern that this development would commence before the existing site at Balmcassie has been fully developed.

This would potentially leave the town with two partially-developed sites.

On balance, the council agreed that competition between developers could be beneficial in presenting greater choice to businesses who may want to relocate to the area.

The council also discussed the recent public meeting hosted by Aberdeenshire Council on the Local development Plan and agreed to hold a separate meeting next month at which members will aim to agree a draft response to Aberdeenshire Counci’s current consultation.

Following that meeting, scheduled for December 16, the community council will publish its draft response and invite people in Ellon to comment.

The council will then reconsider the issue in January, taking account of comments received, before submitting a final response to Aberdeenshire Council.

A series of consultation meetings are being held across the region to gather views on the formation of a new planning blueprint and have reached the mid-way point.

Public meetings have taken place in communities over the last few weeks including, Ellon, Inverurie, Stonehaven, Kintore, Oldmeldrum, Portlethen and Macduff, and smaller places like Tarves and Rhynie.

However, the main focus of Monday’s community council meeting was to review the organisation of the Christmas lights event held on Saturday.

The meeting was told the event had been a “resounding success”.

Initial indications are that the Community Council has managed to raise sufficient funds through the generosity of local businesses and the public on the day to enable them to start planning next year’s event.