A blueprint paving the way for 20,000 new homes in Aberdeenshire has been rubberstamped by the Scottish Government – but may yet face a legal challenge.
Announcing the news at Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee on Thursday, chairman Peter Argyle warned that at least two separate parties were considering challenging the local development plan in court.
Any legal contest would need to be lodged by June 13.
Mr Argyle said: “The local development plan which we have put so much work in to over the years will be the local development plan for future years.”
He said the adoption of the plan was however “tinged with some regret” as some issues could not be resolved and there had been “very minor areas of disagreement” with the government.
The plan – which was backed by councillors 54-6 in April – contains an outline for 4000 new homes south of Aberdeen.
The development at Elsick, near Portlethen, has been billed as Scotland's largest new settlement for a generation and will cost around £1bn.
Estate owner Lord David Southesk wants to build the houses as well as a high school, three primary schools and health and leisure facilities.
World-leading architect Andres Duany was appointed to oversee the design of the Chapelton of Elsick development in 2010.
Mr Southesk said he hoped his plans – which will be brought forward as a normal planning application at a later stage - would win approval by the end of September.
The plan covers the area for 20 years and also sets out the vision for a new village at South Ugie, near Peterhead, 1100 new homes at Mintlaw and 600 at nearby Fraserburgh.
It is only the second time that the local authority has produced such a plan and it comes after four years of consultation.
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