Outline Plans for Ardersier Oil Yard Re-Development Get Go Ahead

An application for outline planning permission for a “world class” residential and leisure development at Whiteness Head, Ardersier was given a conditional go ahead by The Highland Council’s Planning Development Europe and Tourism Committee today (Tuesday).

It will now be referred to Scottish Ministers as the plans are a departure from the Highland Structure Plan and pending resolution of the technical issues raised by the Trunk Roads Authority.

The Whiteness Property Company Ltd proposes a substantial mixed use re-development comprising a tourist/leisure settlement with 1,950 new houses, a hotel, marina and community facilities on the former oil fabrication yard.

The site is located within the Moray Firth Special Area of Conservation, designated primarily for its bottlenose dolphin interest and the Inner Moray Firth Special Protection Area, designated for its common tern, osprey and bar-tailed godwit interest.

11 letters of representation were received, 9 of which were letters of objection. The key issues raised related to the proposed creation of the marina and the need to protect the existing bird interest.

After a debate, the Committee agreed that the Council, the applicants, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Ministry of Defence should work in partnership to ensure the success of the development.

Approval is subject to the company conserving flora and fauna, with all costs met by the applicant; prior conclusion of a legal agreement covering contributions to the road network, schools, community uses, recreational facilities, marina management, access management and subsidy to public transport provision.

It is also subject to conditions covering matters relating to landscaping and open space, road infrastructure, affordable housing, community facilities waste water treatment plan, travel plans and natural heritage.

28 Nov 2006