Green light for Aberdeen affordable homes as ministers decline to intervene in application
The delivery of more than 200 affordable homes in Aberdeen can go ahead after the Scottish Government confirmed it would not intervene in a planning dispute over the loss of sporting facilities as a result of the project.
Earlier this year, Aberdeen City Council’s planning committee gave the green light for 212 properties to be built at the former Kincorth Academy, off Cairngorm Drive.
An official objection lodged by sportscotland regarding the loss of floodlit netball and tennis courts as well as a 60m by 40m synthetic pitch and grass playing field meant the application was referred to Holyrood.
The national sports agency cited planning policy which states that outdoor pitches and courts are normally protected from development, except where the sports facility could be replaced by a new one which is considered to be the same standard as the one being lost. This needs to be in a location that is convenient for users.
Another alternative would be upgrading an existing outdoor sports facility to provide a better-quality one on the same site.
Council planners argued the creation of new sports facilities at the replacement Lochside Academy would make up for the loss of the tennis courts, which they said are in “poor condition”.
However, sportscotland said this week that it “noted” the Scottish Government’s decision that it was “not their intention to intervene” in the application and accepts it is now a matter for councillors.
Led by Atkins and Rankin Fraser, the development will comprise a mix of unit types with shared residential streets, parking and external amenities.
Detailing the design principles behind the plans, Atkins said its proposal will prioritise enhanced daylight, robust design, safety and place.
The development is part of the local authority’s plans to deliver 2,000 units of affordable council housing by 2022.