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November 30, 2011

New vision for new build community

50 years ago saw the establishment of Scotland’s New Towns.  One of the challenges faced by the new town development corporations was how to create an environment that would have any sense of community for those who were going to live there.  Some might argue that the jury’s still out on that one. Perhaps it’s just not possible to create a community from scratch – or at least not on the scale of the New Towns.  That said, this community vision for a new build village in rural Aberdeenshire might just work

Consultations has begun for Scotland’s first self-sufficient, carbon neutral, community-focused village.  On 24 November, Kincluny Development Trust, a social enterprise formed in September, held its first public consultation regarding  Scotland’s very first sustainable village, inspired by the north-east housing shortage, intricate new technologies and a clear passion for social purpose.

 Kincluny is expected to be the country’s largest sustainable construction project and will be CHAP Homes’  biggest venture to date.    Bill Burr, managing director at CHAP Homes said: “Today is all about collating the thoughts of local communities to further the Kincluny vision.  It’s a very ambitious project.  We can’t wait to inspire local people.  I’ve seen too many large scale developments fail to build a true sense of belonging.  Kincluny is already creating a sense of belonging before the first brick has been laid.”

 John Halliday, chief executive at Halliday Fraser Munro, said: “We have worked hard to develop an exciting masterplan, capitalising on the wealth of opportunities that the brownfield land offers for Kincluny.  We are looking forward to showcasing our brand new impressions of what the village will look like at today’s consultation.” 

Leona McDermid, commercial director at Aberdeen Foyer, continued: “When visiting Drumoak today, we are really trying to get across the message that Kincluny will be self-contained and self-sufficient.  The  Development Trust business model means that the village will be financially stable with the micro economy  ‘locked in.’  Kincluny won’t pinch from its neighbours. 

“It will actually add amenities, such as a primary school and thriving community centre, to the area.  We envision something similar to the popular and successful Bettridge Centre in Newtonhill, a base run for the community by a body of elected persons.  A comparable number of houses will be built in Kincluny so we expect a similar hub there.”   

Dr Alan Owen, director of CUSP at Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University, said: “The existing technologies for building housing are not sustainable.  We can’t continue as we are.  Aberdeen and its surrounds need another 70,000 homes but there’s not enough water supply for that level of development.  It doesn’t matter how many houses we build: they will still need water and so we need to develop sustainably.”

Bill concluded: “This is the start of an exciting new chapter for Royal Deeside.  We want everyone to see that Kincluny is unlike any other development.  We want people to share our excitement about the journey ahead.  I would strongly urge locals to become involved.  The Development Trust’s quick response to public request to alter the village name earlier this year showed its passion to incorporate popular public opinion.  There is no doubt that we will act on all comments we receive.”