Two house plan for village set to be scrutinised by councillors

PLANS for the erection of two houses on a site at Church Street, Cairnbulg, will come before members of the Banff and Buchan area committee next week.

An application seeking Approval of Matters for the development, from Mr C Contracts Ltd, Pitfour Chapel, Chapel Park, Mintlaw, will be discussed at the committee’s meeting in Banff on Tuesday.

The application is being recommended for approval but is subject to an unresolved objection from Invercairn Community Council and therefore requires to be determined by the area committee.

The application was deferred at the last meeting of the committee for further information to be provided on the purported right of way.

This has now been investigated and the application is now back before members for determination.

The site is bounded to the north by traditional fishermans cottages which dominate the landscape in that direction, and to the south by a small modern residential development.

The site is partially included within the Cairnbulg/Inverallochy Conservation area.

The proposal comprises of two one-and-a-half storey houses with separate access and parking areas and gardens.

Due to the agent making amendments to the original layout of the houses within the site, which involved positing the houses closer to Church Street and further from the houses of William Street, neighbour notification was undertaken for a second time to allow neighbours to comment on the revised proposals.

There have been two valid letters of representations received between the two neighbour notification periods, not including multiple representations from the same household, which object to the application.

Concerns raised included the design, layout and orientation of the houses being out of keeping with the existing pattern of development in Cairnbulg; the impact of development on existing lane separating site from the houses on William Street; and the separation distance between proposed houses and existing houses on William Street.

In a report to go before Tuesday’s meeting, planning officer Stuart Newlands says the key planning issues are the principle of development and to assess the layout, siting, design, access and servicing arrangements of the site, while also considering potential impacts upon residential amenity and the developments relationship to the existing conservation area.

“The amended plans show a distance of 7m between the gables of the proposed and existing properties.

“This is seen as a significant improvement not only in terms of protecting existing residential amenity, but is also in keeping with the pattern of development exhibited to the north by the traditional fishermen’s cottages which form the backdrop of the conservation are,” he says.

“This modification partially complied with the view taken by the community council which stated that the dwellings should have their south gables directly facing on to Church Street as per the traditional cottages elsewhere in the village.

“The community council also raised concerns regarding the orientation of the dwellings, the principal elevations of each dwelling being proposed to face northwest.

“It advised that this is contrary to the existing pattern across the village where it claim almost all traditionally built dwellings’ principle elevations face southeast.”

Mr Newlands said the service considered that the design of the dwellings was acceptable in terms of scale, mass and positioning.

“They will largely reflect the design principles of the modern dwellings to the south. This is deemed to be acceptable due to the revised positioning of the dwellings, which has resulted in such buildings now forming a closer visual relationship with the properties and streetscape belonging to Church Street, as opposed to William Street and the conservation area to the north.”

He adds: “Having assessed this application against all relevant council policy, it is considered that this proposal accords with such policy and is therefore recommended for approval.