Infrastructure Services Committee round-up 4.10.18

Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC) began by discussing and then supporting planning permission in principle for a residential development of 220 homes on a site south of Chapelwell, Balmedie.

The committee heard that the joint application, by Aberdeenshire Council and Castlehill Housing Association, had been supported by local councillors on the Formartine Area Committee and by council planners, despite not complying with the Local Development Plan due to an absence of a masterplan for developing the site.

The council’s Head of Planning, Robert Gray, assured the committee matters normally covered by a masterplan document could be dealt with using conditions on the Planning Permission.

Councillors agreed to delegate the granting of planning permission in principle to the Head of Planning to allow conditions to be set and a legal agreement to be made on developer contributions.

An amendment from Cllr Paul Johnston (Mid Formartine) was accepted, namely that conditions on the permission will include a Construction Traffic Management Plan (CTMP), which should include a construction traffic route from the west of the site linking to Eigie Road, avoiding the existing housing to the north of the site.  The committee also said it wants the planning service to continue to encourage the development of a Masterplan for the site.

Built Heritage Strategy

The committee agreed the proposed aims and key priorities of Aberdeenshire’s Built Heritage Strategy 2018-2021 and its associated Action Plan.

Councillors heard this the first strategy relating to built heritage in Aberdeenshire, outlining the work of the council’s Planning and Building Standards Environment Team across the area for the period. Delivery of the strategy will be facilitated by an annual action plan for each year of operation.

The strategy focusses on the efficient and effective management of the Environment Team’s work on built heritage. It outlines aims and objectives with a focus on conservation and management, enhancement, promotion and continuous improvement.

Additionally, it sets out links with wider Council and Scottish Government priorities. Overall it will aim to ensure that efficiency and best value are delivered from available Council resources.

The Environment Team work in partnership with other teams, council services and other bodies to deliver high quality work on built heritage.

These include:

• Specialist Services Team Archaeology staff who protect, manage and promote the historic environment;
• Sustainability, Information and Research Team providing heritage policy use information;
• Development Management and Planning Policy Teams who manage proposed new development to enhance built heritage;
• Structures Team for work on historic bridges;
• North East Scotland Preservation Trust who undertake partnership projects.

ISC chair Peter Argyle said: “It’s amazing what is achieved by a very small team with limited resources – it’s a small team doing a great deal of work across Aberdeenshire.”

You can see the strategy and the associated action plan on the council’s website.

Carbon emissions cut with introduction of LPG to Aberdeenshire quarries

Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) infrastructure will be installed at quarries run by Aberdeenshire Council to significantly reduce carbon emissions.

Balmedie, Craiglash and Pitcaple quarries, which provide material for local road construction and maintenance, as well as selling to the private sector, will cease using kerosene. 

Their annual sales of quarry material are around £7 million, around 210,000 tonnes of material, of which bituminous material accounts for around 90,000 tonnes.

This material is dried using dual fuel burners, capable of using both kerosene and LPG.

The committee heard LPG produces far less carbon emissions and agreed the switch in fuels, as well as a contract for its supply over five years.

Councillors heard that while financial savings from the switch will be minimal under the £1.5million contract, it will mean a reduction in carbon emissions of around 250 tonnes a year.

Abbeyton Bridge Demolition

Councillors discussed an exempt report about the demolition of Abbeyton Bridge, near Fordoun, in private, but you can read about the outcome of the discussion and the committee’s decision here: