Council to deliver Kingseat park and play facilities following developer wrangle

Aberdeenshire Council is to take direct action to resolve a long running planning related issue at a residential development on the site of the former Kingseat Hospital, near Newmachar.

The local authority will carry out work to form a community park and install play equipment, after the initial developer of the site, Avant Homes, failed to install the facilities as required.

The work had been a condition of the planning permission agreed for the site and late last year the council served planning enforcement notices to try to get the work moving.

Other than preliminary works the council said there has been no significant progress from the developer or landowner, so it will begin work on site today to deliver the park and play area and seek to recoup the cost.

The lack of community facilities at Kingseat has been an ongoing concern for the local community and councillors for a number of years.

The enforcement notices were served in connection with two breaches of planning control, relating to the storage of spoil/materials and the lack of a play park.

The focus is on a fenced-off central area of the site where there was previously a bowling green and open space area within the former hospital complex. This was intended to form part of the open space/facilities for residents within the completed development.

Avant Homes had 12 weeks from October 20, 2017 to clear the spoil storage area and create a new open space area, including play equipment.

The notices were not appealed by the developer and the period for compliance expired on February 12.

Since then the site has changed ownership to ZTR Investments and Aberdeenshire Council gave the new owners time to comply with the notices, while making alternative arrangements.

Aberdeenshire Council’s head of planning, Robert Gray, said: “Although some preliminary clearing work was undertaken by the new owners there has been no significant progress in forming the park or installing the play equipment. As such the Council has appointed contractors to complete the works.

“The site owners, Kingseat Community Association, Newmachar Community Council and immediate neighbours to the development area have been formally notified of the start date.

“This is the first element of an attempt to facilitate completion of the wider development at Kingseat and deliver some much-needed community facilities for the residents.”

The work is expected to take up to 60 days to complete, depending on weather conditions.

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