A series of consultation meetings across Aberdeenshire to gather views on the formation of a new planning blueprint for the area have reached the half way point.
Public meetings have taken place in communities over the last two weeks including Ellon, Inverurie, Stonehaven, Kintore, Oldmeldrum, Portlethen and Macduff, as well as smaller places such as Rhynie and Tarves.
Presentations have been given about the steps involved in preparing the next Local Development Plan and how communities can get involved in shaping future development in Aberdeenshire by commenting on the Main Issues Report.
Planning Policy team leader, Piers Blaxter, said: “The meetings so far have involved lively debates on wide ranging issues, including proposals to dual the A96, how more affordable housing can be provided, whether new retail provision should be made in places like Stonehaven and Kintore and how new developments can be made more environmentally sustainable.
“We have been surprised that the issue of wind turbines, and the way that the new Local Development Plan should respond to the continued pressure for wind turbine development has not been the focus of significant debate at many of the meetings.
“There are still opportunities to come along and engage with the Planning Policy Team at the remaining meetings and to hear more about the Main Issues Report.
“The council will listen to what people have to say and take it into account in the formation of the next planning blueprint for the area, the Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan 2016.”
Local residents gathered in Meldrum Academy last Monday, (November 11) for the twelfth in a series of 42 consultation events being held.
Planning officers and local residents engaged in lively debate on a number of issues, ranging from school capacity in Oldmeldrum to small scale development in Daviot.
The meeting began with a presentation by Senior Policy Planner Alan Davidson, which set out the purpose and content of the Main Issues Report and the steps involved in producing the next local development plan.
Mr Davidson said the Main Issues Report is a consultation document which provides communities with the opportunity to shape future development in Aberdeenshire, and outlined the different ways in which residents can get involved in the process
Ashley Hamilton, policy planner for the Formartine area, then presented the proposals for future development in Oldmeldrum, Daviot, Rothienorman and St Katherines.
Following the presentation a number of questions were raised from the floor. Discussion topics included existing development land allocations in Oldmeldrum and concerns over the capacity of Meldrum Academy. There was also discussion on Daviot being identified as being suitable for small scale growth under the Local Development Plan’s Rural Development policy.
Details of consultation events and how to get involved vist www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/ldp