Today was the presentation of the Trump-Menie Masterplan/Sales Pitch to the great and good (plus me!).
I have no hesitation in saying the the developing zoning diagram (for that is all that yet exists) is better than the dreadful vision presented at the planning application and public local inquiry. But then neither of those could take into account the prospect of 8 storey apartment blocks and the ridiculously designed hotel (I tended to think of it as the bastard child of a Florida beach apartment and Marischall College (sorry, MC)) - it was after all outline planning permission.
For a nice summary of what is proposed see Jonathan Meades polemic at the end of this video.
But I found it interesting how jumpy Sarah Malone (the local quine face of the development) was when I asked the entirely predictable question about future public engagement beyond the current exhibition. And was highly amused to have Ann Faulds, Trump's legal advisor jump in with statements such as we don't have to do any public engagement and we have on board the people who wrote the planning advice notes. I'm just one woman asking a perfectly polite question that they knew in advance I would ask. Dear, dear. No need to be so defensive.
But according to Ann Faulds it does appear that there is a plan for public engagement ... but it won't be published. Why not? What is there to hide?
Other aspects of the presentation that interested me ....
400 units are included in the outline planning permission. There was no mention of these units tonight nor can I find a reference in the nice glossy brochure they were handing out.
Are they being added into the residential area?
If so, why couldn't the 100 affordable houses also be included ... in fact why couldn't the 100 affordable units be incororated anyway?
If they are no longer part of the plan, doesn't that mean the Transport assessments need to be redone?
Separation of Resort and Housing
This still persists. Gareth Hoskins was brave enough to mention the words "gated community" and it wasn't clear to me whether this was what he was designing or whether the resort was to be "exclusive" in a very real sense but the housing was to be more permeable - or whether the whole gated community thing still exists for the whole development.
The "vision" includes a village centre and words such as community facilities, shops, pubs, cafes were freely bandied about. But unless there is a firm connection to the 950 holiday apartments and the 450 bedroom hotel in the resort, a shop, a cafe and a pub will not be viable (unless Trumpton on Sea is a lot different to other villages in this part of the world) . I think there is a problem here that the zoning diagram thus far hasn't addressed.
The zoning diagram shows routes from the land across the dunes and even a link from the residential area to Petten's church. So far so good.
But parking for the general public?
Details of access beyond Pettens into Balmedie?
What about access to/from Foveran and Newburgh? Balmedie village is about 1.5-2km from the houses. Foveran is a just a little further from the resort apartments and Newburgh is about 3km away. But these are all readily within walk/cycle distance.
To follow - but we don't know when as this is the big secret - is some form of Design Code to define the look of the buildings on the site.
Do go and have a look - and you may even want to fill in a comments sheet. Your comments will be confidential. Sounds good that, doesn't it? But it also means that we will never know what is said or whether anyone's comments, however valid, are listened to. Or, more likely, are we back in the Groundhog Day of the public local inquiry when Dr Dargie (environment), Prof Ritchie (geomorpology) and Mr Hawtree (golf course) all said that they have advised macDonald to stay off the SSSI and had been told this wasn't part of the plan.
That's all a bit depressing so to cheer us up a bit - beauty does that - let's remind ourselves just what a special place the Menie dunes are. Please click on this photo to see a stunning interactive panorama. Move your cursor to see the entire 360 degree view.
Thanks to www.RobinWilson.net for this superb image - and do come and walk on the dunes while you can.
I look forward to having a round 2 with Mr Neil ( we weren't open at the PI in the interests of business)Hobday tomorrow. He makes much of the support from the likes of Dr Dargie, Prof Ritchie etc despite the fact that The (Mac}Donald Org ignored their advice.ReplyDelete
I still have you at a disadvantage name wise but not to worry as they say "it is the thoughts that count"
You wrote in your blog
" Trump's legal advisor jump in with statements such as we don't have to do any public engagement and we have on board the people who wrote the planning advice notes."
Exactly What I predicted in my recent comment to your blog regarding justice...Is it me or am I beginning to sound like the soothsayer from Up Pompei (Woe! Woe! and Thrice Woe!)
In that you were given the stock legal answer the so called engagement appears to have dotted the I's and crossed the T's as far as what the bare law requires although I am disappointed in what I read in that I had hoped for some signs that the Trump team would at least engage. (I can see they don't read this blog)
Gated Community, Shops, Cafe, Pub, well I didn't see that one coming... well! er! yes, I did.. actually I have a bet on it...so at least someone in the NE gained something from the development). A five star development would not be Five star without these I would also be surprised if Mr Trump did not apply for a casino/gaming licence and have hair beauty salons within the hotel (needed for 5* rating).
I hope planning is successfully granted for all these ventures being as the 'resort' has the full support of local businesses.
(ps any word on any helicopter pad, yacht marina or VOSA licence for a fleet of private Limo's)
Thanks for the comments about replies to the Trump plans being anonymous and of your concerns that they might be disregarded, it should not deter people from making them as those that seek to ignore them cannnot change the fact that they have been made
Finally the Menie picture was lovely you can hardly see where the Golf course or Mr Trump's Hotel was under all that sand!