NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Thainstone Mart expansion plans rejected

Cattle

The proposed £4m expansion of an Aberdeenshire mart has been rejected by councillors.

ANM Group had said the new business park at Thainstone, near Inverurie, could create hundreds of jobs.

Objections were raised to the project, with concerns over the potential visual impact on the landscape and possible traffic congestion.

ANM Group said it would consider its options after the Garioch area committee decision.

'A setback'

Pat Machray, ANM Group chairman, said: "We are deeply disappointed with the outcome of today's decision regarding the extension of Thainstone Business Park.

"This is obviously not only a setback for us, but for the whole of Inverurie and the north east agricultural industry."

One objector, Dr Paul Davison, told BBC Scotland after the decision: "I think the people of Garioch should be very proud of their local councillors.

"I think the indication we got was they would look at another submission."

He said the proposed site was high up on the Thainstone ridge which was a local beauty spot right in front of the "famous view of Bennachie" which they wanted to preserve at all costs.

If approved, work had been due to start later this year, with the first building due for completion in early 2018.

Life at Thainstone was the focus of a BBC Scotland behind-the-scenes documentary - The Mart - earlier this year.

The six-part series featured those who work there and the farmers who rely on the auctioneers to help sell their livestock.

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