Unanimous backing for North Woods

North Woods in Mintlaw.
North Woods in Mintlaw.

Planning applications relating to a major development in Mintlaw were considered by Buchan councillors recently.

The six applications, all relating to plots at the North Woods housing development, were considered by members of the Buchan Area Committee at a meeting in Peterhead.

A member of the council’s planning department told councillors that the applications, which pertained to change of house type, had been recommended for refusal. Gary Purves, a senior planner with Knight Frank, addressed councillors on behalf of applicant Mr Smith of Colaren Homes.

Mr Purves said the change of house types would mean prospective buyers would be unable to buy they wanted, which may have resulted in ‘gap sites’ in the development.

He added that the proposed change in house types would not affect the affordable housing requirement within the development.

North Woods is a 600-house development in Mintlaw and, according to the developers, 60 properties were sold there within the first year.

Mr Purves concluded by saying North Woods had been a very successful project but that the applicant was now seeking flexibility to sell properties types which are most sought after.

During a question and answer session, Councillor Anne Allan questioned the developers on whether any planning issues had been raised as opposed to economic issues.

Meanwhile, Councillor Edie Chapman asked about the number of affordable houses which had been built, and also the number of homes which had been bought under the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme.

Councillor Norman Smith commented that he did not want to see gaps in the development, a sentiment which was echoed by councillor Jim Ingram. Councillor Alan Gardiner added that the committee must be seen to react to the situation and to market forces.

Councillor Norman Smith moved a motion in each vote to agree to the change in house type, with councillor Fiona McRae seconding each motion. The motion agreeing to each of the applications - which affects plots 52 and 53, 58, 59, 60 and 61, 62 and 79 - was agreed unanimously by the councillors.