Summary of NKRCC November meeting by Cllr Ian Mollison

Cllr Ian Mollison: Here is my take on tonight’s lively meeting, with strong opinions being expressed about the plans for hotel pods beside the Mill Inn at Maryculter. Representatives of Snoozebox were questioned closely about their plans and criticised for a perceived lack of detail in their planning permission. The deadline for putting representations to Aberdeenshire Council is 19 November.

The community council was hosting the presentation by Snoozebox, and will be making their concerns known to the council.

The pod-type accommodation is constructed off site, brought in by lorries, and made ready, offering a hotel-style service. It is totally self contained, with water brought in and sewage taken away every two weeks by tanker. It can be erected in five days, and was devised for short-term accommodation at major sporting and entertainment events, such as music festivals, Offshore Europe and the Open.

The Maryculter site, if approved, would have 76 beds. This prompted concerns among some of the 19 members of the public at the meeting about parking.

The developers assured the meeting that the accommodation would be for key workers on the Aberdeen bypass, and “will not be filled with navvies”. This would be a financial boost for the hotel, the meeting heard, though some members of the public expressed concerns about an influx of workers to the area.

The site for the pods is to the south-west of the hotel, in a car park.

The meeting also discussed other issues, including general dissatisfaction with the Aberdeen bypass team over a lack of communication with residents. A letter is to be sent to the managing agent by the community council.

On a lighter note, the community council agreed to give £200 towards the annual Maryculter senior citizens’ Christmas party.

Jean Henretty of Kincardineshire Development Partnership gave a short presentation on how KDP could help local groups with grants and growing stronger. Poor broadband services locally dominated the discussion after her presentation.