High Street flats finally approved

PLANNING permission for 24 flats and one retail unit at 24 High Street was finally given the go ahead at the recent meeting of the Garioch Area Committee that took place on Tuesday (July 19).

The application was deferred at the Committee’s previous meeting on May 31, to allow further discussions with the developer Bancon Homes Ltd, on the provision of a higher number of affordable houses, the erection of further screening and also to ask Grampian Fire and Rescue if the proposed layout was accessible in an emergency. The first application on the site, that was formerly occupied by Patterson’s furniture shop and store, was made in March 2007 but was withdrawn by the applicant, who subsequently reapplied in July the same year. This application was refused by the Garioch Area Committee on the grounds “that insufficient affordable housing is being provided within the proposal”. An appeal against the committee’s decision was dismissed by the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DEPA) in August 2010. A revised application was submitted earlier this year.

Since the development was deferred in May a further letter of representation has been received stating that the development will still impact on the privacy of neighbouring properties and the accessibility of large vehicles delivering to the retail unit.

The committee were informed that following discussions with the Council’s Roads and Waste Management Departments and Grampian Fire and Rescue a new layout had been agreed with provision of a turning area for a fire appliance, a suitable number of parking spaces and a site for waste bins.

It was noted that the developer had agreed to the committee’s request for a three metre high wall on the southern boundary of the site. The committee were also informed that in response to the committee’s concerns regarding the number of affordable housing units in the development, the number had been increased to two two-bedroom flats and two one-bedroom flats. Although this was not as many as was previously possible in recent years, it was regarded as the best way forward for the application.

The committee agreed unanimously to delegate authority to grant full planning permission to the Head of Development Management and Building Standards subject to conditions that included the conclusion of negotiations regarding developer contributions, the conclusion of agreement regarding provision of affordable housing and that the developer provide a drawing showing the position of a new three metre boundary wall.

At the same meeting, the Garioch Area Committee approved “matters specified in conditions that were set when planning permission in principle was granted” for the re-development of the site of the former International Paper Paper Mill at Port Elphinstone by the Kilbride Group, Surrey.

The committee were informed that a phasing plan had been submitted, with the development split into seven phases. The application before the committee was for Phase 1 consisting of an access road, a new mini-roundabout , associated services and an attenuation basin. Phases 2 to 7 will be subject to future separate applications.

All the conditions from Phase 1 were found to be acceptable, although the access mini-roundabout in Condition 13, may need to be replaced by a full size one at a later date