Developers appeal Thainstone business park extension

The developers of the proposed extension to Thainstone business park – on the hillside in front of Bennachie – have submitted an appeal against Aberdeenshire Council’s refusal of planning permission.

Councillors refused permission for the development over concerns about the damage to the landscape and fears about the impact the development would have on the local road network.

The developers have now appealed to Scottish Ministers to overturn Aberdeenshire Council’s refusal of planning permission.

The proposed development would be spread across the hill below Camiestone Farm, from Clovenstone right across the hill to the trees in front of the Thainstone Hotel. The photograph below indicates the location in red viewed from the east with Millstone Hill on Bennachie behind – the Mither Tap is just out of shot on the right.

Proposed Thainstone development

The southern section of the site, adjoining Clovenstone, is zoned as SR2 on the Local Development Plan. This designation means the land is “strategic reserve” land and should not be released for development until 2024-2030.

As such it would appear that the application breaches Aberdeenshire Council’s Local Development Plan.

The ridge that runs from from Bruce’s Camp to Clovenstone and on to Tom’s Forest is part of the landscape setting for one of the most iconic views of Bennachie – undoubtedly one of Aberdeenshire’s most celebrated hills. The Bruce’s Camp and the ridge provide an outstanding natural setting for Bennachie when viewed from the east – one of the best viewpoints to enjoy the distinctive profile of the Mither Tap.

If this commercial development gets the go-ahead objectors fear the green ridge will be covered, to just below the summit, with intrusive an mosaic of highly-visible commercial buildings. At night they fear street lights and flood lights will screen the views of Bennachie with unwelcome light pollution.

Thainstone Business Park extension
The plan for the business park extension, with the ridge line in front of Bennachie on left margin of the map

Objectors say they recognise commercial development is essential if we are to develop our Aberdeenshire economy for the future. But, they argue there are less prominent and intrusive sites available.

Letters of objection submitted to Aberdeenshire Council will be forwarded to be considered as part of the appeal procedure.

It is also possible to expand on any point previously made to Aberdeenshire Council. To do so, objectors need to write to the following address quoting reference PPA-110-2320:

The Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals,
4 The Courtyard
Callendar Business Park
Callendar Road

Letters should be submitted by Tuesday, January 10.

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