12 January 2023

Councillors reject transfer of council land in Stonehaven to Mackie Rugby Club

Councillors have today rejected the transfer of an area of council land in Stonehaven to Mackie Rugby Club.  

A Community Asset Transfer of Forest Park was considered by the Area Committee last year and also by Business Services Committee on two recent occasions. The club applied to take over the use of the area of land to relocate.

Committee today heard from an objecting community group and from the club themselves, both presentations followed site visits by the committee members. The Area Committee previously considered the application and requested that Business Services ruled on the application.  

The site is currently used informally by the community, and the application generated a range of views within the community. Officers had recommended the transfer be approved and the club were applying to relocate, subject to planning applications which would have been required to move forward.

Chair of the Committee, Cllr Mark Findlater said: “This application has been through due process and been scrutinised extensively. We have no issues with the club themselves and are hopeful they are able to secure a location which will meet their future needs and allow them to move forward in a positive direction. We heard views on both sides, before a motion to refuse the application was accepted. I am satisfied everyone got a fair hearing during this debate, and we considered all sides of this application fully.”

Cllr Wendy Agnew is the Kincardine and Mearns Area Chair and was one of the members who debated the request at the Business Services Committee today. She said: “It was agreed by the committee today that there were too many potential impacts on the local community, and that the site itself may not in the long term be the best fit for the club. We wish them well with their relocation and hope they find a suitable site.”

There is now a right of review open to the applicant via the Community Empowerment Review Body.