Aberdeenshire Councillors decision on a housing site at Tarves may mean lost job opportunities.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Formartine Area Committee has, despite a local plea, granted an application for 18 houses at the former Bain of Tarves factory site on the edge of Tarves village. Local Councillor Paul Johnston had expressed Community concerns that the housing would not be adequately separated by strategic tree and shrub planting from the planned employment land immediately adjacent.

Concerns were raised that householders at the new housing could, because of lack of trees and shrubs separating the sites, be able to restrict development of businesses on the new employment land. This might lose the village hoped for job to replace those lost when the factory was moved to Inverurie.

“The housing site has more than ample space to have a minimum 10 metre buffer to prevent complaints in the future. However, councillors ignored the constraint and their concern will be that employment uses will be restricted because of possible noise complaints to come.”

The application site was the subject of a public inquiry and while the previous Councillors had rejected the application, Councillors now accepted the application on a slightly larger site and without the restrictions placed at the public inquiry. Tarves Community Council had strongly opposed the original loss of the factory. The inquiry permitted the principle of housing and the Community Council had expressed concerns to protect the viability of the employment land.

Concerns over contaminated land continue, despite Aberdeenshire Council receiving a technical report late in the day, that appears to allow the development to progress. Drainage and maintenance of open space concerns and were also overruled.

Despite failing to have the layout of the new housing altered to protect the employment land the committee did agree to Councillor Paul Johnston’s suggestion to condition the development to allow for the footpath to be constructed connecting the former factory site to the remainder of Tarves village. This will have to be completed before the occupancy of the first house.