Agenda and minutes

Marr Area Committee - Tuesday, 30th January, 2024 10.00 am

Venue: Online

Contact: Kirsty Macleod Email: kirsty.macleod@aberdeenshire.gov.uk 

Note: This meeting will be live streamed and a recording of the public part of the meeting will be made publicly available at a later date. 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Declaration of Members' Interests

Minutes:

The Vice Chair asked Members if they had any interests to declare in terms of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.

 

Councillor Blackett declared an interest in Item 9 by virtue of her husband being chair of Braemar Community Limited and advised that she would leave the meeting and take no part in the item.

 

Councillor Blackett declared an interest in Item 12 by virtue of her husband being an occasional contractor of the Fife Arms Hotel and advised that she would leave the meeting and take no part in the item.

 

The Committee agreed that Councillor Petrie would preside during Items 9 and 12 of the business in the absence of the Chair and Vice Chair.

 

Councillor Ross declared an interest in Item 8 by virtue of having previously helped The Seed Box and advised that she would leave the meeting and take no part in the item.

 

Councillor Brown declared an interest in Item 8 by virtue of having supported The Seed Box’s planning application in 2022 and advised that she would leave the meeting and take no part in the item.

 

Councillor Knight stated that she had a connection to Item 6 by virtue of having lobbied for changes to deferrals prior to her role as Councillor; however, having applied the objective test she concluded she had no interest to declare.

 

Councillors Ross and Chou Turvey stated that they had a connection to Item 11 by virtue of having been contacted by a constituent regarding a separate issue relating to the nearby school garden which did not form part of the matter under discussion. Having applied the objective test, they concluded they had no interest to declare.

 

Councillors Brown, Chou Turvey, Durno, Kloppert, Petrie and Ross stated that they had a connection to Item 12 by virtue of having received and declined a meeting invite from a party who expressed an interest in the property. Having applied the objective test, they concluded they had no interest to declare.

 

2A

Public Sector Equality Duty pdf icon PDF 164 KB

Consider, and if so decided, adopt the following resolution:-

 

(1)      to have due regard to the need to:-

 

(a)           eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation;

(b)           advance equality of opportunity between those who share a protected characteristic and persons who do not share it; and

(c)           foster good relations between those who share a protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

 

(2)        where an Integrated Impact Assessment is provided, to consider its contents and take those into account when reaching a decision.

Minutes:

In making decisions on the following items of business, the Committee agreed, in terms of Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010:-

 

(1)      to have due regard to the need to:-

 

(a)      eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation;

 

(b)      advance equality of opportunity between those who share a protected characteristic and persons who do not share it; and

 

(c)      foster good relations between those who share a protected characteristic and persons who do not share it; and

 

(2)      where an Integrated Impact Assessment was provided, to consider its contents and take those into account when reaching a decision.

 

2B

Exempt Information

Consider, and if so decided, adopt the following resolution: “That under Section 50A (4) and (5) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, as amended, the public and media representatives be excluded from the meeting for certain items of business below, on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information of the class described in the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 7A of the Act.”

Minutes:

The Committee agreed, in terms of Section 50A (4) and (5) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, to exclude the public from the meeting during consideration of the items specified below so as to avoid disclosure of exempt information of the classes described in the undernoted paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 7A of the Act.

 

Item 10 – Paragraph 4

Item 11 – Paragraph 9

Item 12 – Paragraph 9

 

3.

Minute of Meeting of Marr Area Committee of 19 December 2023 pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Presented By / report author: Kirsty Macleod

Minutes:

The Committee had before them, and approved as a correct record, the Minute of Meeting of the Committee of 19 December 2023.

 

Actions / services: Environment and Infrastructure Services

4.

Statement of Outstanding Business pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Presented By / report author: Janelle Clark, Kirsty Macleod

Minutes:

There had been circulated a statement of outstanding business from previous meetings of the Committee.

 

The Committee agreed to note the items of outstanding business as at 30 January 2024.

Actions / services: Environment and Infrastructure Services

5.

49 Main Street, Alford (APP/2023/1141) pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Presented By / report author: Neil Mair

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There had been circulated a report dated 17 January 2024, by the Director of Environment and Infrastructure Services, which sought consideration of an application for Full Planning Permission for the change of use of an existing Class 1A office unit to a Class 3 restaurant.

 

The Senior Planner outlined the details of the application and addressed issues raised in relation to parking, residential amenity (odour and noise), and the town centre location.  Concerns were considered to have been addressed; the proposed change of use complied with policy; conditions were in place to ensure that identified mitigations were provided before use; and the application was recommended for approval.

 

The Senior Planner then responded to Members’ questions in relation to parking, acoustic insulation, and noise from the extractor.

 

The Committee agreed to grant Full Planning Permission subject to the following conditions:

         

(1)    In accordance with Section 58 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (as amended) this planning permission will lapse on the expiration of a period of three years from the date of this decision notice, unless the development is begun within that period.

        

         Reason: Pursuant to Section 58 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (as amended).

 

(2)    The development shall not be brought into use unless the proposed mitigation measures are in place in accordance with the detail of the submitted Noise Impact Assessment dated 7th December 2023.  A validation report from the contractor/installer must be provided prior to the use commencing, following the installation of the internal wall/roof insultation to demonstrate that the works have been carried out in accordance with the agreed details.

        

         Reason: To ensure that noise from the development does not result in undue loss of amenity for surrounding properties.

 

(3)    The premises shall not operate unless the odour control system has been installed in accordance with the details shown in the submitted Odour Report dated 28th September 2023, or as set out within a separate grant of consent required for the installation of the flue/vent extractor.  Once provided, the approved odour control system shall be permanently retained thereafter.

        

         Reason: To ensure that odour from the development does not result in undue loss of amenity for surrounding properties.

 

(4)    Prior to the restaurant use hereby approved coming into operation, Off-Street parking for 5 cars, including a loading bay, surfaced in hard standing materials must be provided within the site as detailed on the site plan.

        

         Reason: In the interests of road safety

 

Reason for Decision

 

The application is considered by the Planning Authority to comply with the Development Plan, the proposed Class 3 use is within a defined town centre and is well located to be sustainably accessed, with the use being demonstrated to be compatible with adjacent uses through appropriate mitigation to avoid any amenity impacts relating to noise or odour, in compliance with Policy B1 Town Centre Development, Policy P3 Infill Developments within Settlements and Householder Developments (including home and work proposals) and Policy P4 Hazardous and Potentially Polluting  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

Actions / services: Environment and Infrastructure Services

6.

Implementation of National Legislation Relating to Older Deferrals - Stage 1 Scrutiny Report pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Presented By / report author: Julia Matthew, James Martin

Minutes:

With reference to the Minute of Meeting of the Committee of 13 June 2023 (Item 14), when it had been agreed to undertake further scrutiny on Council interpretation of national policy/guidance in relation to deferrals, there had been circulated a Stage 1 scrutiny report dated 7 December 2023, by the Director of Education and Children’s Services, which outlined how legislation, regulation, policy, and guidance had been interpreted and implemented in the Aberdeenshire context, with specific reference to Early Years and exceptional older deferrals.

 

The Quality Improvement Manager (Early Years) and Early Years Service Manager presented the report and outlined the legislative context and guidance informing the older deferrals process; development of the process; Aberdeenshire Council’s approach to, and criteria for, deferrals; and comparisons with other local authorities.

 

During discussion, Members welcomed the introduction of the process and commented and asked questions in relation to the absence of an appeals process; the exceptional circumstances basis for older deferrals and what that included; support for the development of children who deferred; the UK school starting age; and take up of Early Years placements.

 

The Committee agreed:

 

(1)       to note the information regarding the legislative requirements placed on local authorities relating to deferrals;

 

(2)       to endorse Aberdeenshire Council’s interpretation of the legislation and relevant national policy framework relating to deferrals; and

 

(3)       to request that the Service give further consideration to:

 

(a)       putting an appeals process in place; and

 

(b)       providing greater specification around what exceptional circumstances would meet the criteria for deferral.

 

Actions / services: Education and Children's Services

7.

Committee Review Process Stage 1: Implementation of National Guidance Through Aberdeenshire Policy - Roads Signage, Speed Limits, Road Safety and Pavement Parking pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Presented By / report author: David Armitage

Minutes:

With reference to the Minute of Meeting of the Committee of 13 June 2023 (Item 14), when it had been agreed to undertake further scrutiny on Council interpretation of national policy/guidance in relation to roads policies, there had been circulated a Stage 1 scrutiny report dated 19 January 2024, by the Director of Environment and Infrastructure Services, which outlined how national guidance was implemented through Aberdeenshire policy with particular emphasis on roads signage, speed limits, road safety, traffic calming, and pavement parking.

 

The Roads Policy and Asset Manager introduced the report and responded to Members’ questions in relation to developers contributing to traffic calming measures; implementation of, and consultation on, the national programme for introducing 20mph speed limits; the need for local knowledge and input; requirement to go through a legal process for implementing measures such as double yellow lines; approach to deployment of signage; decriminalised parking enforcement; speeding; and the pavement parking prohibition including enforcement, exemptions, and incorporation into street design standards.

 

Thereafter, the Committee agreed:

 

(1)        that the Stage 1 scrutiny report and recommendations provided the Committee with sufficient assurances on the matter; and

 

(2)        to recommend to the Roads and Infrastructure Service that the proposed new Aberdeenshire Policy on Traffic Calming be brought forward and reported to Infrastructure Services Committee for approval as soon as resources allowed.

Actions / services: Environment and Infrastructure Services

8.

Marr Area Committee Budget - Grant Applications pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Presented By / report author: Kirsty Macleod

Minutes:

There had been circulated a report dated 15 January 2024, by the Director of Environment and Infrastructure Services, which sought consideration of an application for Area Committee Budget Funding (Small Grant Scheme) from The Seed Box. The report also provided information on an award to Banchory Trampoline Club and an update on deferred Large Grant Scheme applications.

 

The Committee agreed:

 

(1)       to approve an award of up to £2,000 from the Area Committee Budget (Small Grant Scheme) to The Seed Box towards the cost of a composter system;

 

(2)       to note an award of up to £245 from the Area Committee Budget (Small Grant Scheme) to Banchory Trampoline and DMT Club approved by the Area Manager (Marr) following consultation with the Chair of Marr Area Committee and Ward 16 Members; and

 

(3)       to note the update provided at paragraph 3.2 of the report with respect to Large Grant Scheme applications.

 

Actions / services: Environment and Infrastructure Services

9.

Community Asset Transfer - Clunie Woodland, Braemar pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Presented By / report author: Nick Mardall

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There had been circulated a report dated 15 January 2024, by the Director of Environment and Infrastructure Services, which sought consideration of an Asset Transfer Request from Braemar Community Limited for the transfer of ownership of Clunie Woodland in Braemar.

 

The Area Manager advised that it was recommended that the land be transferred to Braemar Community Limited for £1 subject to conditions in the report.

 

As a correction, it was advised that the figure of £44,500 at paragraph 3.11 of the report related to market value not rental value.

 

The Committee agreed:

 

(1)       the Asset Transfer Request from Braemar Community Limited for a transfer of ownership of the Council-owned land at Clunie Woodland, Braemar to provide a safe, calming, healthy outdoor space, subject to the conditions referred to in section 3.11 of the report and for a £1 consideration;

 

(2)       to note that there had been no public representations made in respect of the Asset Transfer Request; and

 

(3)       to instruct the Area Manager to issue a positive decision note and to instruct Legal and People to conclude the transfer.

Actions / services: Environment and Infrastructure Services

10.

Aberdeenshire Charities Trust (ACT2) Application

Presented By / report author: Kirsty Macleod

Minutes:

There had been circulated an exempt report dated 12 January 2024, by the Director of Environment and Infrastructure Services, which sought consideration of an application for ACT2 funding from an individual.

 

Following consideration, the Committee agreed to refuse the application on the grounds that the applicant had received multiple awards from ACT2 in recent years.

 

Actions / services: Environment and Infrastructure Services

11.

Disposal of Strachan School, Strachan

Presented By / report author: Elaine McCarron

Minutes:

There had been circulated an exempt report dated 9 January 2024, by the Director of Business Services, on the proposed sale after marketing of the former Strachan School.

 

The Asset Disposal Surveyor presented the report and responded to Members’ questions.

 

The Committee agreed to approve the sale of Strachan School and instruct Officers to conclude a sale for the price referred to in section 3.5 of the report.

Actions / services: Business Services

12.

The Mews Development, Mar Road, Braemar

Presented By / report author: John Gahagan

Minutes:

There had been circulated an exempt report dated 27 November 2023, by the Director of Business Services, on the Council-owned Braemar Mews Development. The Committee was asked to provide comment to Business Services Committee on Officers’ recommendations that the general presumption against disposal of the existing buildings within the Braemar Mews Development should apply and they should not be sold.

 

During discussion, Members commented:

 

(1)    On the importance of the buildings to tourists and residents in Braemar.

 

(2)    On the need to repair and maintain the buildings to a standard, including consideration of more efficient/sustainable heating.

 

(3)    On the challenges of the level of investment required and whether a private purchaser would make this investment.

 

(4)    On the value to the community/local economy of having multiple small, affordable units for small businesses and start-ups, and the risk they would be lost without control of the building.

 

(5)    On the need for fair consideration in relation to condition and investment across all Council buildings.

 

(6)    On potential support for marketing the separate greenspace.

 

(7)    On the possibility of testing the buildings on the open market to explore appetite for others to acquire the building.

 

Members debated the majority view to provide to Business Services Committee.

 

Councillor Goodhall, seconded by Councillor Chou Turvey, moved to support  Officers’ recommendations that the general presumption against disposal of the existing buildings within the Braemar Mews Development should apply and they should not be sold.

 

As an amendment Councillor Kloppert, seconded by Councillor Ross, moved that the buildings at the Braemar Mews Development be tested on the open market to explore appetite for others to acquire the buildings.

 

Members of the Committee voted:

 

for the motion (4): Councillors Chou Turvey, Durno, Goodhall, and Petrie

 

for the amendment (2): Councillors Kloppert and Ross

 

Therefore, the motion was carried, and the Committee agreed:

 

(1)        to support Officers’ recommendations that the general presumption against disposal of the existing buildings within the Braemar Mews Development should apply and they should not be sold; and

 

(2)        that the Committee’s view and the comments from individual Members as above be conveyed to the Business Services Committee for its consideration.

 

Actions / services: Business Services