planning

Kingswells Community Council Response to Wellside Circle Planning Application

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Kingswells Community Council Response to Wellside Circle Planning Application

Application Reference:

160753

Local Authority Reference:

100015184-001

Proposal Description:

Erection of 2 residential dwellings (Semi detached)

Application type:

Planning Permission in Principle

Address:

Wellside Circle
Kingswells
Aberdeen

Post code:

AB15 8DY

Kingswells Community Council make the following comments on the above Planning Permission in Principle. The comments that follow refer to the Planning Statement submitted by the applicant.

In Section 4 the applicant quotes current planning requirements for new development. It is not applicable to established development. The Wellside area was developed some time ago when the development complied with planning regulations of the time. KCC does not consider the line of argument used in Section 4 to be appropriate, and hope that ACC agree that they have not justified the re-use of this land for further development.

The Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Plan has identified locations for all the housing required up to 2030. Aberdeen Local Development Plan has identified locations for housing required up to 2017 – 2023, or thereby. This development is not included in any of these documents and is therefore not required.

The site was a space within housing development that was left undeveloped to provide the residents with public open space and a break from relentless housing. The loss of this land to more housing does have anunacceptable impact on the character or amenity of the surrounding area” and would “constitute over development”. The land is valued by the local residents despite it becoming very neglected in recent months.

If this land was developed it would “result in a loss of valuable or valued areas of open space”. This type of open space can be used by youths of a certain age, and depending on the actual age of the current residents may, or may not be used at the present time. This is not justification for removing the public open space for all future generations. Many of the areas identified in Section 5.1may be green and offer a sense of place, but are not suitable for youths to ‘hang out’.

The chair of a neighbouring residents association has been in touch with KCC and has identified that all 26 home owners in that area are totally against such a development. Like KCC, they and many other residents are concerned that if approval is given it will set a dangerous precedent which would have “unacceptable impact on the character and amenity” for Kingswells. No one wants to lose the open green space this site provides.

The provision of open green space with plots dispersed throughout the local area is a feature that distinguishes Kingswells from many other areas, and is one of the reasons residents chose to live in Kingswells. KCC is actively promoting the provision of similar areas in new housing developments as we are aware of the benefits, and we want residents in new developments to benefit from the improved quality of life which is enjoyed and valued by the residents of Kingswells. Recent research shows that having a piece of green space beside where you live, no matter how small, has a beneficial effect on mental wellbeing.

For the reasons stated in the above paragraphs we hope ACC can conclude that the application does not meet any of the guidelines identified in Section 4.4.

In Section 5 the applicant discusses policy and infers that the site is under utilised, and does not meet the current requirements for the provision of good quality green space. As stated above the development complied to planning requirements when it was built, and it does not need to comply with current policy. Although KCC consider the discussion in this section to be irrelevant we will make some comment.

Although we acknowledge that the plot in question is open space we feel that it is underutilised.” – KCC hope ACC planners agree that this is not a material consideration in planning terms.

This green space is not achieving its purpose, for example, it is not multifunctional. There are no walking paths and does not offer a safe place for children to play as it is bounded by roads on either side. Nor is it used for recreational purposes.” These comments are entirely out of context. The area is too small for paths, but it does provide a sense of place, and can be used by older youths to whom the roads do not pose a ‘danger’. Kingswells youths do not have many facilities at their disposal, and the loss of this area would have a significant impact.

The plot is contained within the settlement boundary and will assist in meeting the housing shortfall within the wider Aberdeen area.“ As discussed above there is no shortfall in housing provision in Aberdeen. The Local Development Plan makes adequate provision for many years to come, and there is no justification for the proposed development that could not be better provided elsewhere.

The proposed site plan shows two driveways very close to road junctions. KCC questions the safety of vehicles using these driveways. We also suggest that one reason the original developer did not develop this plot was it would not provide a suitable plot for housing. The layout of the garden in the right hand home is questionable. This site is more useful as a public open space.

WellsideCircle
Wellside Circle

Conclusion

Kingswells Community Council request that the application is turned down.

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