Plans submitted for major development

Planning permission in principle is being sought for a major development on the outskirts of Peterhead.

Hermiston Securities Limited has submitted the plans to Aberdeenshire Council seeking consent in principle for the erection of retail shops, restaurants, a hotel, petrol filling station, and associated access and infrastructure at the town’s Buchan Gateway.

Members of the Buchan area committee will consider the plans when they meet in Peterhead on Tuesday.

Three objections have been lodged against the plans, with objectors stating that there will be an alternative supermarket built nearer the town centre in spite of concerns over its viability; that retail units should be limited to bulky goods, that the town centre should be protected, and that alternative sites are available.

In support of the application, Hermiston Securities has provided a Retail Impact Assessment to the council.

This confirmed that while the development would have an inevitable impact on the town, the level of impact would be acceptable providing the retail units were limited to the sale of bulky goods.

In a report to go before Tuesday’s meeting, planning chief Stephen Archer says that much of the concerns raised by the letters of representation relate to the development’s impact on the viability of Peterhead, especially the town centre.

“The applicant has provided supporting information which demonstrates that although there will be an inevitable impact, it will not be at a level that will damage the viability of the town,”he says.

“It has been recognised that Peterhead must provide a greater shopping experience for shoppers and such developments should add to the general vitality of the town and hopefully arrest the movement of shoppers into Aberdeen or the Bridge of Don.”

Mr Archer says there is a long-term vision in place to transform the entrance into peterhead into a mix of employment,retail and leisure developments and this proposal provides part of that aim.

“While this proposal will result in a minor loss of employment land, it has been satisfactorily established that there is sufficient level of employment land available,” he adds.

Memgers of the area committee will give their views on the application at Tuesday’s meeting.