An appeal against a rejected application for 247 homes in Laurencekirk has been lodged with Scottish Ministers.
Agents acting for the applicant have argued that the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee acted unreasonably in refusing the application.
The site currently comprises greenfield agricultural land allocated for development as part of the M1 Laurencekirk site, identified by the Aberdeenshire 2012 Local Development Plan.
The proposal, which was refused in a notice issued in November, included 62 units for low cost home ownership, social rent and midmarket houses, which comprises twenty, one bedroom flats, eight, two bedroom flats, twelve two bedroom houses, twenty three bedroom houses and two four bedroom houses.
The application also included 668 parking spaces and public open space and was met with refusal on the grounds of density of housing on the land, concerns regarding road layout and lack of compliance with the council’s masterplan.
However, the appeal argues that since the masterplan was published in 2013, changes in market conditions have seen a trend for smaller houses “suggesting higher densities would be required to make the best use of land” and that the development is in line with the local development plan and ‘broadly complies’ with the approved masterplan. The appeal also points to other applications where the density of housing had been revised in light of emerging market changes.
The appeal document furthermore states that the layout of the site takes account of the Development framework and Masterplan, the adjacent consented development and existing site conditions, and also highlights the large areas of open space and good connectivity to the adjacent development that was previously granted permission.
The applicant also highlights that the council requires any development to provide adequate road, waste management, and waste water facilities’, and that the development meets these requirements, and all consultees have confirmed they have no objections.
The report argues that the site is broadly in line with the approved masterplan for the site, and that the project is phase one of as strategic site of importance to both Laurencekirk and the north east region given its location in a Strategic Growth Area.
Concluding the appeal, the report states that the application to bring forward development on the site would enable delivery of an allocated site and assist in meeting both private and affordable housing needs.
A high quality development is proposed, which will deliver much needed housing to the local area and assist in sustaining local services.
The Scottish Government will respond in due course.