Mintlaw house set for go-ahead despite neighbours concerns

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BUCHAN councillors will today (Tuesday), decide whether or not to grant full planning consent for the erection of a house on land to the rear of Baluss Cottages in Mintlaw.

Members of the Buchan area committee will consider an application from Mr and Mrs S. Finnie of Aldersyde, Nether Aden Road, Mintlaw, when they meet in Peterhead later.

The couple are seeking full planning permission for the house, which has been the subject of various discussions with the planning authority and several attempts have been made to reach the present scheme.

In a report to go before today’s meeting, planning officer Bruce Strachan says the amended design has involved turning the proposed house through 90-degrees and reducing the mass of the building in order to minimise the profile presented when viewed from the north and any actual or perceived negative impacts.

The house is one-and-a-half storey with attic accommodation and is of modern construction with tile roof, dry dash and uPVC windows, doors and rainwater goods.

Members will hear that nine representations have been received, all relating to the possible negative impacts on the occupants of the house to the immediate north of the site.

Specific concerns raised include lack of sunlight/daylight in the rear sitting room and kitchen, increased heating costs from reduced sunlight, overshadowing, loss of television signal and reduction in property value.

Mr Strachan says: “The scheme now presented shows a scaled down T-shaped house, reduced in height by approximately 1m and with a north facing elevation that has also been minimised.

“All of the representations refer to the circumstances of the elderly couple who live at the neighbouring property and how the erection of a house on the proposed site will negatively impact on their quality of life. The gentleman who lives there is profoundly disabled, being deaf and blind as a result of injuries sustained during WWII and his advancing age; his wife (and carer) are also elderly.

“It is claimed that they spend their days in the sitting room/kitchen that is to the rear of the property and south facing and on fine days the gentleman will sit out on the patio.

“Situations related to vulnerable members of the community, or people with severe disabilities are always highly emotive and this is one such case. While the planning authority must consider every case on its own merits, it is important to take a consistent approach to such concerns as the primary material consideration must be the development plan, which makes no allowance for individual or personal circumstances as outlined in the representations.”

He adds: “Notwithstanding the sensitive issues relating to the neighbours, in land use terms the proposal is acceptable and is recommended for approval subject to the conclusion of planning gain.”