Ballater is to get a new bus depot after members of the Cairngorms National Park Authority gave planning permission for the development at its meeting in the village today (19th December).
The new depot will be located on Ballater’s Pannanich Road and will mean that the applicant, Bluebird Buses, can maintain its regular bus services in the area and retain jobs locally.
Some concerns had been raised relating to flooding and noise but conditions have been included in the planning consent to ensure that these issues are addressed including the addition of a further condition to explore appropriate fencing to mitigate noise and protect the amenity of surrounding houses.
Members of the CNPA planning committee took part in a site visit this morning prior to their meeting to see the area for themselves. There was a motion to defer the application but subsequently members voted 7 – 2 in favour of the planning officer’s recommendation.
Planning Officer Fiona Murphy explained: “SEPA and Aberdeenshire Council’s Environmental Health Officer do not object to the development so long as various conditions are applied. In relation specifically to noise, this would include reversing alarms only being used during the hours of 7am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and they would be switched off at all other times and bus washing will only be carried out during normal working hours.
“With the noise and flooding issues addressed through conditions, the application meets with the policies in the Cairngorms National Park Local Plan and I therefore recommend it for approval.”
Planning Committee Convener Eleanor Mackintosh said: “Sustainable transport is extremely important in a National Park and as the Park Authority we are keen to promote the use of public transport for residents and visitors. This development will help secure bus services in the Ballater area in the long-term and for that reason I support the application for a new bus depot in the village.”
The move follows the granting of planning permission to turn the existing bus depot on Golf Road into a supermarket.
You can read the planning papers in full here.