A Fraserburgh and District councillor has described neighbouring Peterhead as a “dark star”, saying that Fraserburgh is missing out on major investment opportunities.
In remarks made to the Fraserburgh Herald, Councillor Ian Tait said that the Strategic Growth Area (SGA), which stops at Peterhead, should be extended to incorporate Fraserburgh.
Cllr Tait has said he does not support proposals which exclude Fraserburgh as part of the SGA.
He is now calling on members of groups and the public to make their voice heard in a consultation which is due to take place between January 11 and March 1, 2013, before the Strategic Development Planning Authority (SDPA) submits its plan to the Scottish Government. Commenting, Cllr Tait said: “The present Aberdeen City and Shire Structure Plan was approved by the Scottish Government in 2009.
“I opposed this plan because it stopped the Strategic Growth corridor coming from Aberdeen at Peterhead. I wanted it to continue up to Fraserburgh so that our area could enjoy all the benefits.
“The Peterhead area is benefitting from being in three areas as follows: in the Strategic Growth Area (SGA), in a Regeneration Priority Area and from being in the Energetica corridor. Fraserbugh will only benefit from being in a Regeneration Priority Area. The present Structure Plan must now be replaced by a new Strategic Development Plan (SDP) which is the responsibility of the Strategic Development Planning Authority which is made up of 12 councillors, six from Aberdeenshire and six from Aberdeen City.
“For our area, the draft proposals for the new plan still do not push the SGA up to Fraserburgh and therefore I will not support it. At present we are like a satellite of Peterhead.
“I wish every community well but I also wish Fraserburgh area to enjoy the same benefits as Peterhead. And so I took my chance at the recent Banff and Buchan Area committee, I proposed that the growth corridor which starts at Aberdeen should be continued past Peterhead right up to Fraserburgh. I was seconded by Councillor Charles Buchan. Councillor Topping had some reservations about supporting my motion. He has never supported my moves to get the plan changed to include Fraserburgh.
“However, the committee eventually approved my motion and so my successful motion will be fed to the SDPA. I am hoping very much that they will accept that the growth areas should be extended to Fraserburgh so that we can attract inward investment from both the private and public sectors. It is crucial to prevent Fraserburgh from dying away. Peterhead is becoming our dark star, sucking all development and new jobs into itself.
“When the SDPA finalise their proposals into the new plan, the plan will then require to be ratified by Aberdeenshire Council on November 22. There will then follow a period for the public to make representations from 11 January to 1 March 2013. The representations will then be considered by the SDPA in mid-2013 prior to submission to Scottish Ministers. It is anticipated that Scottish Ministers will approve the plan in early 2014 or amend it to include Fraserburgh in the development corridors. We will see.
“We have to stand up and make our voices heard. I believe the Fraserburgh area community needs to start speaking up now before the SDPA produces its draft plan and before the formal consultation. I am asking members of organisations and the general public to start contacting the SDPA now in good time by emailing email@example.com or by writing to 27-29 King Street, Aberdeen, AB24 5AA or by phone on 01224 628210.