A developer has vowed to take account of safety concerns after lodging a controversial application for a luxury holiday park in the Mearns.
The application has been lodged by Monarch Leisure and Park Homes whose director William McDonald is one of the men behind the unauthorised St Cyrus Travellers’ site at North Esk Park.
The proposals involve the demolition of a derelict piggery at Dowrieburn near Fettercairn and the creation of “an environmentally-friendly holiday destination”.
The 27-acre site will include 57 chalets surrounded by landscaped grounds, country walkways, fishing ponds and a nature observation tower.
In submitting the application, the developer said it has “taken account” of concerns expressed by nearby residents at a public meeting last month regarding safety on the narrow C-class road surrounding the site.
Following discussions with officials from Aberdeenshire Council’s roads department, the planning application contains proposals for new passing places along the public road which would be built and paid for by the developer.
Also included in the application is an independent consultant’s report which, using national guidelines, states that even at peak times, the number of vehicles entering and leaving the site is unlikely to exceed one every 15 minutes.
Barr Demolition from Aberdeen are recognised experts in the safe removal and disposal of asbestos and other hazardous materials and has been approached to demolish and decontaminate the existing piggery buildings.
Non-hazardous materials from the demolition would be crushed on site and used to construct roads and pathways and this aspect of the development is likely to cost around £310,000.
The demolition and all other work on site would be subject to the terms of a Construction Environmental Management Plan which would control noise levels, dust, start and finish times, waste management and other environmental issues.
Alan Seath, the planning consultant submitting the application on behalf of the developer, said: “This development is on the site of a contaminated, derelict eyesore.
“What we propose would improve the environment and in doing so it would create jobs – eight full-time staff in the finished development and 15 during construction.
“Aberdeenshire Council and VisitScotland have recognised a need for well-managed and high-quality tourist and leisure sites which would create inward investment and jobs and bolster the tourist industry.”
Mr Seath – who is also the site spokesman at St Cyrus – said the proposed development “will achieve these objectives”.
The Dowrieburn site was the subject of a similar application for holiday lodges last year by Monarch Leisure and Park Homes.
However, the previous application was withdrawn after residents voiced their concerns.
The fresh application has been lodged at a time when the future of the St Cyrus Travellers’ site remains ultimately in question against the backdrop of an ongoing Scottish Ministers investigation.