Local groups gain windfarm funds

Funding totalling £24,332.59 has been awarded to local groups and projects from the Meikle Carewe Wind Farm Community Fund.

RES, a renewable energy developer, established the fund to support local groups and projects. Funding is available for not-for-profit groups and organisations in the community council areas of Crathes, Drumoak & Durris; Newtonhill, Muchalls & Cammachmore; North Kincardine Rural; Portlethen & District; and Stonehaven & District.

It is administered by Kincardineshire Development Partnership, with applications assessed by a panel made up of representatives from all five community council areas.

The successful applicants this round were:
• Crathes Public Hall Trust – new tables, cutlery and fridge – £464.51;
Skateraw Hall – sanding and sealing floor – £2000;
Maryculter Driving for the Disabled Group – to continue the service – £1400;
Maryculter Woodlands Trust – native pinewood restoration – £1118;
Portlethen & District Voluntary Community Ambulance Association – providing a local transport service – £500;
• Panthers Basketball Club (Portlethen) – installation of outdoor junior basketball goals – £2480;
Portlethen Paths Development Group – planters for edibles plus a strimmer – £2505.98;
• Rhythm Nation Dance Crews – dance studio mirrors and ballet barre – £2750.47;
• Friends of Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool – Replace sun awnings and sun terrace parasols – £2095.02;
• Stonehaven Community Radio – new studio in Portlethen, and training studio at Mearns FM’s new studio in Stonehaven – £5000;
• 1297 Stonehaven Squadron Air Cadets – youth adventure training – £1595.88;
• Stonehaven Horizon Group – beautiful baskets for 2021 – £1635; and
• The Bellman – sustainable funding – £787.73.

This year there was no awards ceremony due to current restrictions.

As a result of covid-19, the fund did not allocate grants in 2020. Instead, the fund is allocating twice in 2021. It will reopen on 1 July, closing on 30 September, when the second allocation of funding will take place. For more information visit www.kdp.scot or contact the KDP office on 07903 156864 and windfarms@kdp.scot

Update on moor houses

An informative update on the Barratt development on the moor south of Newtonhill says the first houses will be occupied next month.

Here’s what the minutes of Newtonhill, Muchalls and Cammachmore Community Council say:

“The finishing touches are being made to the first of the houses at the Park Place entrance to the development ahead of the first occupancy by the end of April. 

“Landscaping around this area will begin shortly as the weather improves.  This landscaping will take in the initial section of the core path at the end of Park Place which borders the new houses and will include Barratt resurfacing this length of the core path. 

“The other road entrance to the development at Cairnhill Way is expected to be completed in mid-April, at which time the footpath from the farm access road will be re-opened. 

“The first of the affordable houses are due to be handed over to Grampian Housing Association on 29 April following the initial length of the road being completed.  It is expected that the security fencing will be reconfigured in late April to allow the public access to these houses and the Barratt show house.

“The new pipeline from the western side of the development south to the Pheppie Burn is scheduled to be completed by the end of March.  While most of the rock removal has now been completed on the site it is possible that further work will be necessary on house foundations behind the earth bund close to the core path on the north side of the site.  If required this work may start as early as 30 March.

“As the weather improves and the soil dries out, there have been complaints about dust arising from the farm track and operations involving removing topsoil for the gardens for those houses nearing completion.  Barratt are aware of the problem and are taking additional measures including regular sweeping of the site roads to try to reduce this problem.

“There has been speculation recently that the area of moor within the Barratt owned land but out with the security fencing to the south of the development which was badly damaged by fire a year ago will be ‘landscaped’ by Barratt.  We have been advised by Barratt that no work will take place in this area and hopefully, with time, the gorse will recover.”

Stay local (and that’s not Aberdeen!)

On Friday (2 April), the Stay at Home regulations will be replaced with guidance to Stay Local. Residents may leave their homes, however they should not travel beyond their own local authority boundary for non-essential reasons.

This change will remain in place for three weeks and on Monday, 26 April wider travel across Scotland will then be permitted.

So for the moment we still may not head into Aberdeen from Aberdeenshire except for essential travel, for example a medical appointment, education or work.

As restrictions ease, traffic will no doubt increase and all road users need to play their part in keeping the roads safe for everyone.
More here: https://online.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/apps/news/release.aspx?newsID=8123

Emergency road closure

Emergency work to repair a leak means that the U63K country road is now closed from its junction with the B979 South Deeside Road until Rosebank Lodge at Maryculter.

The road will be closed for five days while Scottish Water repair work takes place.

Site notices are being erected indicating the temporary restriction to traffic and the alternative route via U63K- B9077- B979 and vice versa.

Emergency and pedestrian access is to be maintained. Vehicular access to affected properties is to be maintained whenever possible.

New planning application

The application below was 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/.

Date validated: 19 March 2021.
Site address: Paul Lawrie Golf Centre, Ardoe, AB12 5YN.
Applicant: NSB Contracting Ltd c/o Colin Thompson Chartered Architect, Old Chapel Road, Inverurie, AB51 4QN.
Full planning permission for alterations and extension to golf centre (cafe).
Public comment expiry date: 22 April.

Names for Blairs streets

The names chosen for streets in the yet-to-be-built community of Blairs are St Mary’s Walk, College Gardens, Steeple View, Philosophers Park, and Seminary Road.

They all have links with the former Blairs College: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blairs_College

The suggestions were put forward to Aberdeenshire Council by North Kincardine Rural Community Council, and the four ward councillors were consulted.

Chapelton growing

Some 205 houses are now occupied at Chapelton, with a further 80 completed or under construction.

The Duke of Fife told a meeting of community representatives tonight that it is a much more encouraging picture now. He added that it was a pity that wasn’t the case a year ago.

He was outlining future plans for the new town. A six plot site for self build homes is earmarked for the south of the site, near the allotments. Snowdrop – who are building beside the Causey Mounth – intend to build to the south of the Pheppie Burn. A G Stephens are coming back to the site in the middle of the town – the “gaping hole” – to complete eight houses, five of which are already reserved. The remainder of the Brio development is on hold.

We also heard about the play area being developed among the trees to the north of the community, a more natural environment.

There are plans for eight business units opposite Liddell Park, on Greenlaw Road, for local entrepreneurs. The duke said the aim is to have them on site from July. A number of businesses have already expressed an interest, such as food sales.

There will be an Easter egg hunt in the community, challenging children to spot 12 specially painted eggs.

The 10k run will not take place this year, but there will be a bike ride in September.

An exhibition about future plans will be held on 15 and 16 May to coincide with a farmers’ market on the Sunday.

No progress has been made in improving the lighting at the park and choose, with Aberdeenshire Council and the developers not yet finding common ground. However the meeting did hear that the council is investigating alternative solutions. The park and choose site has not been adopted by the council as it is meant to be temporary and does not currently meet adoptable standards.

Speed limit moves west

There was a question at Portlethen’s community council on Tuesday about whether the 30mph speed limit on School Brae, Hillside, would be extended westwards as a result of the Stewart Milne development on the former chicken sheds site and the new allotments opposite.

The short answer is yes.

There will be no statutory need for an order as the 30mph limit extends by virtue of the new street lighting.

As previously posted, Stewart Milne Homes will be carrying out major public utility works and a new road alignment with a footway and traffic calming measures. As street lighting is also to be installed the speed limit will be relocated to the western end of this site.

The work is due to start on Monday 29 March, when the road will be closed for nine weeks for safely reasons.

This will allow the contractor full access to the site to allow the work to be carried out in a safe manner, as there is insufficient safe width to permit vehicular traffic through the site during these operations.

These extensive civil engineering works comprise the diversion and new installation of public utility services involving deep excavations in the road, new street lighting installation, the realignment of a new traffic calmed road, and a relocation of the 30mph speed limit.

However, on discussion with the contractor, pedestrian access will be required and provided through the site at all times.

The contractor is not permitted to work on Sundays, unless they receive an exemption from Environmental Health for Aberdeenshire Council. They are also not expected to be working on public holidays within this construction period (Good Friday, Easter Monday, and May Day).

Positive news from KDP

Tonight I attended the annual general meeting of the Kincardineshire Development Partnership, via Zoom.

What a refreshingly positive organisation. Over the past four years the partnership has brought in roughly £1 million for its members, for an outlay of £120,000. KDP gets its core funding from Aberdeenshire Council.
KDP is giving up its office at the former Sheriff Court in Stonehaven, from 31 March, with staff preferring to work from home. The court will remain as a mailing address. This will save just under £3000 a year.

Among the member groups locally are the community councils covering Portlethen, Newtonhill, and North Kincardine Rural, the Skateraw Hall, the Portlethen Men’s Shed, the Jubilee Hall, the Bettridge Centre, and the Portlethen Town Association.

There is more here: http://kdp.scot/

Changes at recycling centres

Aberdeenshire Council is introducing new measures at its household recycling centres from Thursday 1 April. The aim is to move business waste away from recycling centres.

Business waste is estimated to be as much as 20% of the materials taken to household recycling centres and costs up to £0.5 million per year to dispose of. The change should also helps create space for more recyclable materials in the centres to improve services to householders. This will increase recycling and reduce disposal costs, given that recycling is much cheaper than landfill.

The image below summarises the number of visits available for different vehicle types and more detailed information, including Frequently Asked Questions, is available on www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/recyclingcentrelimits.

To book a slot at a household recycling centre visit https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste/recycling/book-recycling-centre-visit/

There is also further information available here: https://online.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/apps/news/release.aspx?newsid=8120