Councilors have approved plans to build a development of 33 homes and three commercial units in Millbank near Sauchen.
Claimant Cosmo Linzee Gordon, of the Cluny Estate, filed the proposal with Aberdeenshire Council.
It was presented to the Garioch area committee on Tuesday as the request received more than six objections, with 24 people opposing it.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Planning Department has recommended to councilors that the plans be granted.
The site is to the south west of the Millbank Junction and on the south side of the A944 road.
To the northeast is Millbank Cottage, which is being redeveloped. To the east of this is an area of undeveloped land and Millbank Hall. Along the eastern boundary is the hall parking lot and three houses.
A wooded area makes up the southeast corner, while to the south and west are open fields with houses scattered some distance beyond the site boundaries.
The development will be divided into three zones, the first having access to 10 individual houses; the second to 10 other houses in the southern part of the site; and the third having five detached properties, four semi-detached and three semi-detached properties. Only one house will be located east of the second area.
Homes will range in size from affordable two to three bedrooms (seven in total); three bedrooms (three), four bedrooms (14) and five bedrooms (nine).
The houses are a mix of one- and three-quarter and two-story designs. Each will have off-street parking, including the use of garages for larger properties. There will be 10 visitor parking spaces throughout the application site.
The proposed retail development is in the form of three workspaces and parking is located to the east of the site access and adjacent to the A944. These will be in one building.
In the report that was submitted to advisers by Chief Planner Bruce Strachan, he recommended that the application be granted.
He stressed: “The policies contained in the Local Development Plan 2017 remain in line with the principles of sustainable development guided by Scottish planning policy and therefore provide an appropriate basis for determining this application.
“The proposal to support good design and the six qualities of successful places, the provision of accessible housing and the use of existing infrastructure would contribute to sustainable development.
“This carries significant material weight which lends itself to approval. Assessing the proposed development against the wider policies of Scottish Planning Policy and the Local Development Plan 2017 and any other material consideration, there is no had no adverse impact that would significantly and manifestly outweigh the benefits of the proposal.”
The plans received 24 objections whose issues included the principle of development; its scale; the lack of housing demand and the infrastructure capacity of the hamlet.
During the sector committee meeting, Councilor Iris Walker said: “The principle of development on this site is established, it has already been in previous PDLs.
“There was extensive consultation. The lack of representation from the community council which we can take as an endorsement of the bid.
“The applicant and his representatives visited the municipal council of Cluny, Midmar and Monymusk on several occasions.
“Although the proposal is scaled down from the original, we live in a different economic world. It would still offer mixed-use development and opportunities for small businesses and that is to be welcomed.
“The issues raised by the representations have been resolved and a considerable number of terms have been offered to provide further reassurance on all the issues I was reviewing.
“I understand that the current residents of Millbank want to keep the hamlet as it is. We need to look at the request in a wider context.
“At Millbank we have a very active community and facilities including the hall, tennis court, bowling green, football pitch, all waiting for people to come out and support it. I will be supporting this bid.”
Councilor Ron McKail said: “If the perception of opponents is that the consultation has not been good, that is extremely disappointing.
“It’s a housing demand that will practically double the size of the hamlet, so I can understand how they feel.
“I don’t think we have any reason not to accept this delegated grant.”
Councilor Fatima Joji said: “I am aware that there has been prior consultation on this.
“I feel there are questions on the line that I am not reassured about and I can see where the residents are coming from in the statements they have presented.
“But I accept that there was wide consultation. There really isn’t a strong enough reason to reject this proposal at this time, but I sympathize with the residents.”
The regional committee agreed to approve the development request.