August 29, 2012
Elsick Development Company has held recent meetings in Portlethen and Muchalls, focussed around concerns about healthcare, school provision and transport links. Many of these concerns were borne out of a lack of information; key points are thus addressed below.
The Chapelton planning application states that ultimately the town will include a site for a dedicated healthcare centre at the heart of the town. This is the only sustainable solution in the long term, near transport links and within reach of all Chapelton residents. In the shorter term, EDC will aim to ensure that Chapelton residents have access to their own facilities. EDC are currently working with Aberdeenshire Council and NHS Grampian to facilitate provision during the earlier phases. There will be a number of buildings in the heart of the first neighbourhood centre at Cairnhill that would be suitable for a surgery with adequate parking.
EDC also has the same desire to make proper facilities available for school provision. EDC has demonstrated commitment to providing schools as soon as possible and employed a specialist schools architect to design the first primary school at Cairnhill. EDC is also in discussions with the Education Department to ensure the best possible solution for early residents. Any plans will take into account the forecast needs of the existing residents of Portlethen and Newtonhill.
Whilst EDC believes that the majority of Portlethen residents would welcome an improved junction, its nature will be of greatest concern to those who live closest. Concern has been heightened because the drawing submitted with the outline planning application was taken to be the actual design, when in fact it was a conceptual design indicating that there was an engineering solution suitable to the land available. The actual design will be the subject of a detailed planning application, probably many years hence. EDC will take into account residents’ considerations as far as possible when re-designing the junction and hope to undertake this work as soon as possible on account of resident concerns.