Former Edzell RAF airbase gets development approval

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Aberdeenshire councillors this week approved plans for a £250million sustainable community proposed for land at the former RAF airbase at Edzell.

The development, which will include the development of up to 300 residential properties, built in two phases with 150 built in the first phase, community facilities and business.

Known as Newesk Village the development will combine with Edzell Woods and will involve significant improvements to infrastructure, including mains water connection and sewerage works.

The former RAF Edzell airbase was established over 65 years ago, being used by the RAF during World War Two.

It was subsequently leased to the United States Armed Forces and accommodation on the site included 144 dwellinghouses, a barracks, retail outlet, school, cinema, pub, baseball pitch and other recreational activities.

The base was sold in 1999 to DM Carnegie who have since used it for a mixture of commercial activities.

Newesk, will cover more than 300 acres of land and would include the remaining 144 acres of land between the business base and the existing small community of Edzell Woods, delivering facilities including a new primary school, community hall, green space and local shops.

All of the infrastructure which supported this community remains intact.

David Carnegie, a partner in Carnegie Base Services, said the decision was a vindication for more than a decade’s hard work by his family, and the team of planning specialists and consultants who have brought the Newesk proposal to life.

“We are obviously very pleased by the decision – our over-arching focus remains the long-term creation of a thriving rural community at Newesk, encompassing all six phases of development which make up the full masterplan for the land,” he said.

“Elected members showed a real understanding of the issues, and an appreciation of the work we have done to ensure that the community has had a chance to have their say on our plans and to input into the masterplan.

“Delivering Newesk will provide a tremendous boost to the local area in terms of providing much-needed facilities, employment opportunities and infrastructure improvements, including investment in local roads and other vital resources.

“Our focus now is on securing approval for the full masterplan for Newesk, as part of the ongoing development of the local plan for Aberdeenshire.”

If fully developed, Newesk has the potential to deliver up to 1,000 jobs, and provide up to 1,000 high quality properties in a region which is one of the most sought-after destinations to live in the UK.

The meeting heard from Linda Wilson, who is the Chairperson of the Edzell Woods owners group, who said that drainage problems at the site would need to be addressed.

Councillors of the Kincardine and Mearns area committee unanimously agreed to grant approval for the application.