49 Affordable homes bid for Inverurie and Insch succeeds

THE Garioch area is set for an affordable homes boost as councillors approved construction of 49 new affordable homes in Inverurie and Insch at the Area Committee meeting on Tuesday morning.

Councillors gave the plans - for new homes at Stonefield, Inverurie and at Old Mart, Insch - a generally positive reception. The Inverurie plans, which attracted five letters of representation, will see 22 affordable housing units built on a gap site near the Brandsbutt Pictish stone, while the Insch development will see 27 built at the Old Mart site.

Questions were raised over the size of two of the gardens at the Inverurie site, which were tackled through an amendment to the plans proposed by Cllr Martin Kitts-Hayes to create more public space, which was passed. Cllr Fergie Hood also raised concerns over the size of the water storage tanks at the development which were too small. The committee agreed that this would be looked into. Beyond that, it was agreed by the committee that the plans were generally commendable, and should go ahead. As Cllr Hood said: “The council has a target of creating 350 new affordable homes this year, and these projects will go a significant way towards helping to meet these targets.”

The site at the Old Mart in Insch - which is being developed by Scotia Homes - attracted a number of objections regarding previous plans which only indicated 15 houses to be constructed. Further concerns were raised over congestion, reduced privacy and the impact of the development on Insch Primary School, which is already nearing capacity. Cllr Hood attempted to pass a motion, seconded by Cllr Martin Ford, that the windows of the development be of wood rather than uPVC, however this was defeated. All councillors, however, agreed that the development was both needed and desirable, and approval was unanimous.

In other news, councillors agreed to grant a stay of execution for two half-built houses at Cairntradlin, Kinnellar, which had been recommended for refusal by planners and were subject to an enforcement notice. The committee accepted representations from Mr Marshall and his agent, to the effect that planning permission had been granted previously and lapsed, and that with the exception of minor details, the work which was being carried out was essentially the same as the work which had originally been given the go-ahead. Cllr Kitts-Hayes questioned Mr Marshall over his “complete disregard for the planning system”, for which Mr Marshall apologised. Members were divided on the motion by Cllr Hood to pass the matter to the Infarastructure Services Committee, subject to a Section 75 clause tying the homes to the business, with Cllr Kitts-Hayes moving an ammendment for refusal. The motion carried by seven votes to five.

Councillors also approved £75,000 to be spent on re-painting the Souterford Bridge over the River Ury, and funding for a range of landscape projects across Garioch’s villages and towns from the top-up budget.