Fraserburgh and district councillor Brian Topping expressed the views of his Scalloway Park constituents this week as the proposed build of a new children’s home was brought before the Banff and Buchan Area Committee.
Councillors were reminded that planning could not prejudice any proposal on the basis of anti-social behaviour, and that it was an issue for the warden and the police.
The proposal, councillors were told in a report to Banff and Buchan Area Committee, had received 12 valid representations from the public, one of which supported the build. The number of representations did not include multiples from the same household, which brought the total number of representations up to 18.
Councillor Topping said at the Area Committee: “Folk feel there has not been proper consultation,” admitting that there were consultations ‘of sorts’, but that many residents were not aware of these meetings.
The councillor added that a lot of people felt “disenfranchised”.
Planners, however, told the councillor that the consultations were not obligatory and that they had happened without their involvement.
“In terms of the size, it’s a big application,” added Councillor Charles Buchan, who said that he would like a site visit “to look at the geography of the site”.
Councillor Topping agreed with his fellow Fraserburgh and district councillor.
Councillor Ian Gray, who appeared to be about to speak, was reminded by the legal officer in attendance that, should he choose to involve himself with any consideration or vote on the proposal, it could cause a potential national justice issue.
The Banff and district councillor had earlier left the room while the report was being given to the committee, thus missing points from the planners and councillors present.
Councillor Gray refrained from making any statement.
Councillors will now visit the site of the proposed new children’s home before returning to the proposal at the next meeting of the Banff and Buchan Area Committee.
The proposal, which is available to view at www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk, would see the erection of a new home that could home up to six children. The proposal is also for a biomass boiler.