Today, Sunday 2nd July, there was a reported fire at Loanhead of Daviot Scout site. The Oldmeldrum and Daviot group, who are based there use the site with 8 huts used by groups.
“I am told one of these was set alight, late afternoon or early evening and it was destroyed” said local Councillor Paul Johnston. ” The worrying thing is that this might be a deliberate piece of arson. Yes it might be kids, but its a real shame that so much voluntary effort that goes into creating the and keeping up the site can so easily be destroyed.”
Any person with information about the fire should contact Police Scotland via the 101 number.
” I urge anyone to provide information to help prevent any repeat incident, which might be more serious” said Paul.
Local Councillor Paul Johnston welcomed the decision of the Formartine Area Committee of Aberdeenshire Council to recommend the removal of Daviot from the list of settlements that can have a housing growth in unallocated sites.
” My advice to local residents previously was to make representations to the local plan if they wanted to prevent this unwanted uncontrolled expansion. Very many residents responded and I am glad officials and other councilors took note.”
However, a move to protect be valued area of ground because of the village setting and view of House of Daviot was rejected.
” There was significant a representation from the local Community Council and village representatives to protect this land but sadly other local councilors failed to take on board their concerns expressed about their community.”
The ground remains unallocated for housing but may be the subject of planning applications up to 2016 under the existing policy before the new local development plan kicks in. Officials told councilors that there may be other protection in the setting of historic buildings. However, planners have already recommended approval for two small applications housing on the site and Cllr Johnston expressed concern that this protection as described would be inadequate and contradictory to existing planning recommendations.
The recommendation for the new local plan goes to the Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee and then, if agreed, is published as the local development plan proposal. Final objections can then be made which will be resolved at a public inquiry.
” Residents who feels strongly, have the opportunity to have the issue of protected land status raised with the independent reporter at this public inquiry by making a formal objection to the local plan when it is published in the autumn. This may be only the end of around one in any effort to protect the setting of Daviot Village and Estate.” said Cllr Johnston.