Row over Whitecairns development

Ongoing work at Whitecairns
Ongoing work at Whitecairns

Residents have expressed concern at disturbance from work under way on a hillside near Balmedie.

Aberdeenshire Council has approved two planning applications for Bruntland in Whitecairns at a site operated by Grampian Building Contractors.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said he believes the work being carried out falls outwith the valid permission granted.

The approved applications include the formation of hardstandings, erection of buildings and works for the re-grading of the adjoining slopes.

The resident, who passes the site daily, told the Times: “I wrote to the head of the council around three weeks ago.

“The site is such a mess - there are so many lorries going up and down as well.

“There is planning permission to reface the hill and tidy it up and to put up a shed but all that has been done has now made it look worse.”

A council spokesman said that a number of parties had contacted the planning service asking them to investigate work at what the authority described as an “ongoing development”.

The spokesman added: “Following initial investigations the planning service believes both developments are progressing in accordance with the plans attached to the relevant planning approvals. However the service is currently carrying out further investigations to clarify the issues being raised.”

Mid Formartine Concillor Jim Gifford has also asked officers to confirm that approved planning permissions are not being exceeded.

He said: “There have been concerns about the work being carried out at Bruntland and also about the adjacent industrial estate at Tamala for some time and I have raised these issues with officers on many occasions.

“There is permission for work on both sites but the reports from local residents does raise new concerns and I have asked officers to look at the operations of the sites yet again to make sure that the planning permissions there were granted are not being exceeded.”

The planning service plan to check whether work on the site could be classed as ‘unauthorised mineral extraction’ by continually monitoring the area and carrying out the relevant investigations.

The spokesman added: “Examination is continuing as to whether the extant Planning Permissions authorise some or all of the works being undertaken.

“Secondly, nearby residents have expressed concerns that operations are causing a nuisance by reason of noise, vibration, dust, traffic movements and anti-social hours.

“The service is working with colleagues in Environmental Health to ascertain whether there is a statutory nuisance and what action is possible to resolve the nuisance.”

Grampian Building Contractors declined to comment.