Unanimous backing for plans key to restoration

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BUCHAN area councillors have given their unanimous backing to a Mintlaw developer who plans to restore a Buchan estate.

Members of the Buchan area committee met in Peterhead on Tuesday when they approved plans for nine luxury homes on Pitfour Estate.

Developer, Hamish Watson, says a £900,000 redevelopment project for the estate hinged on approval for the homes as they would help fund the renovation works.

Planning officials had urged councillors to reject the plans as they did not comply with council policy.

They also said Mr Watson had now shown that all other sources of funding had been investigated.

At an earlier meeting, Buchan area councillors deferred a decision on the proposals until a site visit could be held.

And at Tuesday’s meeting they gave the plans their full backing.

Councillor Jim Ingram said he was ”very pleased” to see the plans back before the committee for support.

“I think it shows public spirit of the highest order,” he said.

“Previous applications have been lodged in the past for other estates but have required financial input from the local authority.

“In this case, the developer is funding the project himself with the aim of enhancing the local area.”

The plans will now go before the council’s infrastructure services committee in March for ratification.

Commenting on the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting, Mr Watson said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the plans would be given final approval.

If all goes well, it is hoped that work would begin on roads and paths on the estate this summer with the entire project expected to take around four or five years to complete.