No changes to bin collections yet

A few residents have asked me about kerbside household waste collections after reading elsewhere about imminent changes. I have been assured by council officers today that no decisions have been made yet.

To recap, before the pandemic struck plans were being made to alter the rota of collections, but for understandable reasons these were put on hold.

A three-weekly cycle was on the cards (I wrote about that at the time) with two blue-lidded bin collections to one landfill collection.

Now that restrictions are easing, the plans are being dusted down and looked at anew. Too much material is going to landfill and not into the recycling bins, so something has to change.

The introduction of a third bin was also planned before the pandemic, but an application for national funding was not successful at that time. It would have facilitated a separate collection of paper and cardboard.

Now it is time to revisit the plans since we can see an end to lockdown.
Furthermore another opportunity to apply for national funding has been announced. A report with proposals will go before the council’s infrastructure services committee in the summer for approval. Any changes would follow thereafter.

So, for the meantime, the service stays the same.

New applications

The applications below were registered last week for the North Kincardine ward of Aberdeenshire Council and can be viewed on the Planning Register (https://upa.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/online-applications/).

APP/2021/0642
Date validated: 8 April.
Site address: Mains of Portlethen, Old Portlethen Road, Portlethen, AB12 4QP.
Applicant: Mr and Mrs M Shand c/o Hyve Architects Ltd, 68-70 Allardice Street, Stonehaven, AB39 2AA.
Full planning permission for the erection of a dwellinghouse.
Public comment expiry date: 6 May.

APP/2021/0760
Date validated: 5 April.
Site address: Whincairn, Cammachmore, AB39 3NR.
Applicant: Mr George Keith c/o Michael Spence, 12 Holyrood Avenue, Glenrothes, KY6 3PF.
Full planning permission for conversion alterations and extension of swimming pool to form ancillary accommodation and formation of access.
Public comment expiry date: 26 April.

Bus services to change

Stagecoach will be increasing its commercial services from Monday 19 April to similar levels of frequency which operated before the latest lockdown, subject to some minor adjustments.

This increase in services takes into consideration the expected lift in passenger numbers with the return of all pupils to schools and many businesses reopening.

In the Kincardine and Mearns area the changes are:

– Services 26 and 107 return to pre-lockdown timetables.

– Service 7/7B will offer journeys up to every 30 minutes between Aberdeen and Portlethen, with hourly journeys serving Newtonhill and Chapelton. Certain journeys will extend to/from Stonehaven.

– Service X7 will offer two express journeys per hour between Aberdeen and Stonehaven, with hourly journeys continuing to operate further south towards Montrose, Dundee and Perth.

Click here to download the Stonehaven area timetable (and other areas too): https://www.stagecoachbus.com/service-updates/serviceupdatesarticle?SituationId=ID-24/06/2020-17:38:13:966

Covid-19: Jags plan on track

In Aberdeenshire 128,995 people have now had their first covid-19 vaccination, and 25,173 have had their second jag, according to NHS Grampian today.

Second dose vaccinations for the over 80s are well underway with GP practices organising local pop-up clinics. To date 6,761 of Grampian’s over 80s are now fully vaccinated against covid-19 which represents 53.3% of that group.

NHS Grampian has also begun vaccinating the 75-79 group with second doses and so far, 4,498 are now fully inoculated which is 47.8%.

The most recent group to be invited for vaccination is the over 50s and they have now completed 86.2% of 1st dose vaccinations for the 50-54s and 95.5% of those aged 55 to 59.

The supply of vaccine is sufficient to ensure that they can complete all of the first dose vaccinations for JVCI priority groups 1-9 by mid-April. (That’s adults over 50, those over over 16 who are vulnerable individuals, and those with at risk health conditions.)

NHS Grampian has also been assured there is sufficient supply to administer 2nd dose vaccinations.

Country road to close

As Aberdeenshire Council Roads Service will be carrying out culvert replacement works it will be necessary for safety reasons to close a country road near Lairhillock School.

The C5K will be closed from its junction with the C13K Lairhillock road to Sauchenshaw, as shown on the map.

The road will be shut for five days from Monday 19 April. Site notices will be erected in due course indicating the temporary restriction to traffic and the alternative route.

Store transformation

Steady progress at the former Homebase store in Portlethen. It is being transformed into an Aldi store which is due to open later this year.

They have permission to split it into two. Here is the background.

On 28 July 2020 Aberdeenshire Council granted full planning permission for elevational changes, unit sub-division and minor car park works to Unit 1, formerly Homebase, at Portlethen Retail Park.

These units were originally approved in 1985, and until the year before Unit 1 was occupied by Homebase. Adjacent retailers include Matalan, Argos and the B&M Home Store. The ASDA supermarket is located at the opposite side, with its remodelled petrol filling station, and McDonalds restaurant/drive-through in the intervening car park.

Specifically the proposal was to sub-divide the unit to create two retail units and involves both internal and external alterations including:

• Removal of existing canopy at rear of unit and formation of external yard area;
• Formation of entrances to units 1a and 1b and an entrance canopy at 1b;
• Creation of 10 disabled and 14 parent and child parking bays;
• Re-cladding of south-east elevation and partial re-cladding of south-west elevation;
• New external doors, glazing and signage zones on south-east elevation;
• Existing roller shutter door and canopy and existing glazed doors on north-east elevation to be removed and clad over with vertical wall cladding panels in colour and profile to match existing;
• Formation of three fire exit doors and one proposed loading door on north-east elevation; and
• Removal of two existing external doors on north-west and opening closed with cladding to match existing. Third door on north-east elevation to be replaced with new door and installation of side panel.

There was only one objection to the application.

The approved site plan

Road closes for 8 days

Council roads officers tell me that St Crispin’s Road in Newtonhill is closed for eight days. Emergency Scottish Water works to repair burst main led to the road being shut from Saturday 3 April.

UPDATE 9 April: The work has been done, the hole has been filled in and tarred, and all that remains now is to remove the safety barriers and warning signs.

Police round-up for March

Police Scotland’s monthly report for the Kincardine and Mearns area in March has just been issued.

ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR, VIOLENCE AND DISORDER:


There has been an increase in the number of antisocial behaviour calls, with 91 incidents reported. Some 56 calls related to minor disturbances involving youths (congregating and some knocking on doors and windows, thereafter running away). There were also three incidents of wilful fire-raising within Auchenblae, at Blairs, a shopping trolley at Portlethen, and nine bales of hay at Fetteresso.

Anti-social behaviour in Portlethen

In response to a number of calls from concerned residents relating to anti-social behaviour by young people in Portlethen, officers from the Kincardine and Mearns community policing team, supported by local special constables have carried out dedicated plain clothes and high visibility patrols to tackle this problem.

The week-long operation saw officers engage with more than 35 young people in the Portlethen area. Four youths were also spoken to in front of their parents regarding their conduct.

Officers will continue to carry out high visibility patrols in the hot spot areas of Portlethen to provide reassurance to the community and take enforcement action against those found offending.

Assault

There were six assault crime files raised in March, which is an increase on the previous month. All are detected and reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

There was one serious assault reported which has also been detected and reported. The incident involved a fight whereby the complainer suffered a facial injury.

ACQUISITIVE CRIME:

There were five thefts. All remain undetected and are still being investigated.

There have been two reports of theft by housebreaking. One being a commercial premises wherein power tools where stolen, and a domestic property where similarly, powered hand tools were stolen.

ROAD SAFETY AND ROAD CRIME:

Drink/Drug Driving
No drivers found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Dangerous Driving

There have been three reported incidents of dangerous driving, two of which are detected and will be reported. There is one outstanding and still being investigated.

Careless Driving

There have been two reported incidents. Both remain undetected at this time, and are under investigation.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND REASSURANCE:

One drug search warrant was executed, with a positive result leading to persons being reported in relation to possession of a controlled drug.

CONTACT:

You can communicate with officers using any of the following:
 101 – Non emergency;
 Email – StonehavenLowerDeesideCPT@Scotland.pnn.police.uk
 Twitter – @NorthEPolice
 Facebook – www.Facebook.com/NorthEastPoliceDivision
 Web – www.scotland.police.uk
 999 – Emergency;
 0800 555 111 – Crimestoppers.

Spotlight on station plans

Last night’s Evening Express carried an interesting story about whether stations at Newtonhill and Cove should be re-opened.

While all support for this is welcome, I am a little puzzled by this surfacing now.

A company called AECOM has been commissioned by the transport partnership Nestrans to investigate and report back on whether this would be viable.

Funding has come from Transport Scotland, and AECOM is now progressing the main study on the corridor between Aberdeen and Laurencekirk. I asked Aberdeenshire Council officers on 11 March at a meeting of the infrastructure services committee how long this study will take to complete and was advised six months. So, as the study isn’t finished yet, why call for the findings to be published now? Maybe I’m missing something here. Anyway, it is good to keep it in the headlines.

We will find out later this year if this is a feasible project.

You can read the article here: https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/fp/news/local/call-for-findings-into-north-east-stations-to-be-published/?utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR04lj_GCC5JC6-tTxBFvfmctFj5JMpyl3LMX-pT_kbPNjq7Fo07lduIIe8

One new application

The application below was registered last week within the North Kincardine ward of Aberdeenshire Council and can be viewed via the online Planning Register (https://upa.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/online-applications/).

APP/2021/0738

Date validated: 1 April.
Site address: Land to the west of Glenfinnan, Portlethen, AB12 4RL.
Applicant: Mr A Polson c/o Andrew A Ritchie, chartered architect, Whitehill, Stonehaven, AB39 3TH.
Prior notification for the erection of an agricultural building.
Public comment is not applicable for this type of application.