250 NEW HOUSES IN BALLATER!
The current total of signatures is over 530 and increasing daily!
Another meeting was held on 28th October in the Albert Hall.
Around 120 attendees were united in expressing their
opinions to the representatives of the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA)
and their potential partners Scotia homes.
The attendees expressed firmly that Ballater needed affordable housing for locals - preferably on brownfield sites to preserve the farmlands for local farmers - and therefore keep local employment; and that Ballater did not wish the tranquil rural village to be transformed into a dormitory or retirement town.
The CNPA confirmed to the meeting that:
They cannot guarantee that there will be truly affordable housing in the proposed development - or that any affordable housing would be prioritised to villagers;
That the CNP seem only to be able to work with landowners and developers interested in profit therefore preventing the use of existing brownfield sites in preference to profitable developments of large houses;
That premium agricultural land is of no priority for the Park. (The proposed development would displace local tenant farming).
Whilst they expressed their view that the consultations they had made met legal requirements, they confirmed that they have no obligation to act on the results.
They did not comment on the apparent lack of any Environmental consideration in the process.
They did not comment when the apparent contradiction that the plan includes 250 houses while at the same time saying only 90 houses were expected to be built was pointed out to them.
Scotia confirmed that there had been no affordable housing in their recent developments - as Aberdeenshire Council and the CNPA had not required this.
Many people expressed their frustration at this total lack of democratic process, including some very eloquent contributions from village families whose children are unable to remain to work and bring up families in the Village.
cannot be apathetic - make sure you are informed:
Have you seen the objection to the Plan from your own Community Council?
Who are your councillors and are they representing your views?
Have you seen the Summary Report from the Prince's Foundation?
See the articles from the Press & Journal - click here, Deeside Piper articles here, and letters to the P&J here.
Write to your councillors, your
MP, your MSP and HRH, The Prince of Wales with your views.
For addresses of the councillors and other contacts as well as a summary of some of the objections so far, please click here. Please feel free to refer to any or all of these items and include matters relating to your own concerns.
If you have not signed the petition and wish to do so, please go to the Contact Us link below and send an email.
The Hut on the Green will also be open on Saturday from 10am - 12 and 2pm - 4pm.
Objectors to the Deposit Local Plan met in the Albert Hall on 30.09.08
Below is a copy of the mailshot, ‘DEPOSIT CAIRNGORMS NATIONAL PARK LOCAL PLAN (BALLATER)’. This was hand delivered to about 900 addresses in Ballater on September 26th & 27th in preparation for a meeting on September 30th. In addition, another 170 copies were posted to other houses in the area. This action yielded an attendance of 155 people on September 30th in the Albert Memorial Hall. The sentiment at the meeting was strongly opposed to the CNPA proposal to 250 new houses adjacent to Monaltrie Park.
If you were offended by the lack of signature on the mailshot, the author, Phil Swan apologises for this simple oversight and hopes you will not let it get in the way of the current efforts to improve Community awareness and understanding of the Community's views on the CNP Local Plan for Ballater.
DEPOSIT CAIRNGORMS NATIONAL PARK LOCAL PLAN (BALLATER)
A few years ago, Aberdeenshire Council put forward a plan for Ballater, designating the fields beyond Monaltrie Park as housing land. This land had originally been ear-marked as community land. After strong community opposition, Aberdeenshire Council reversed that decision and again designated the land for community use.
This decision was then challenged by a number of interest groups, notably housing developers. An inquiry was held, overseen by a Reporter sent by the Scottish Executive, who backed the developers, so the area became re-allocated for housing.
Many people in Ballater could hardly believe this insult to community views, or the threat to Ballater’s way of life, were real. When the fledgling Cairngorms National Park Authority declared its first aim to conserve the natural and cultural heritage of the area, the community breathed a sigh of relief - the CNPA surely saw Ballater as a key part of its aim of conservation?
The CNPA plan is even worse than the Aberdeenshire Council version, with an enlarged land area on a flood plain alongside Monaltrie Park allocated for 250 new houses. A target of 40%, or 100 units, would be affordable housing, heavily subsidised at tax payers’ expense.
Despite vigorous opposition over the past 12 months or more, the CNPA have persistently failed to address adequately even the most basic questions and objections to this plan:
By building 250 new houses in one clump on the edge of Ballater, the CNPA plan fails in its first aim, to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area.
Planning for 250 new houses is not justified by common sense. Where will the people come from? Where is the employment for 250 new households in or near Ballater?
The sight of a large new housing estate right against the main access route into Ballater will damage its appeal to tourists, which is a critical source of income to Ballater.
There are many more objections of a practical nature which the CNPA are also failing to address, as they cave in to pressure from landowners and developers. The interests of the Ballater community, the only legitimate stakeholders in this plan, are unprotected.
The real housing problem in Ballater – which the CNPA does not address adequately - is access to affordable housing for a number of households. But not 100!
A petition was presented to the 155 attendees on September 30 and subject to an amendment to the wording, 107 signatures were pledged in support of the petition. The target is 1000+ by the 28th of October. Any assistance in maximising the number of signatures in the meantime would be most appreciated! The text as it appears on the petition is as follows:
DEPOSIT CAIRNGORMS NATIONAL PARK LOCAL PLAN (BALLATER)
The Deposit Cairngorms National Park Local Plan indicates allocation of land north east of Monaltrie Park, Ballater, for 250 new houses. This land should be reserved for recreational/community use. We, the undersigned, require the CNPA to remove this area of land from the housing allocation and eliminate the proposal for 250 new houses in Ballater from the Deposit Local Plan. We request a realistic assessment of the needs of local people for affordable housing and the best means of meeting those needs.
The Petition is available at:
The Hut on the Green
on Bridge Street
will be open from 10am -12 and 2pm - 4pm
every Saturday in October
for any resident to sign the petition!
Are you really prepared to lose these views to housing?
Move your mouse over the picture to see an impression of the planned houses
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