Area committee defers decision on Starbucks

A decision has been deferred on plans for a Starbucks drive-thru at Westhill
A decision has been deferred on plans for a Starbucks drive-thru at Westhill

Councillors have voted overwhelmingly to defer a decision on a proposed Starbucks 24-hour drive-thru at Westhill.

In the face of 50 objections from the community, Garioch Area Committee debated the application for more than an hour on Tuesday.

After a successful amendment by Westhill Councillor David Aichison, applicants Davaar Property Group will now be asked to enter into negotiations with planners to provide alternative designs for the outlet including removal of a ‘fin’ on the roof of the building which may have featured a logo.

They will also be asked to consider the addition of traditional stone and real wood external finishes to provide a more vernacular design at the prominent Arnhall Business Park site.

Planners had recommended approval, with officer Bruce Strachan stating that while it was a departure from the local plan, and while there was a high level of opposition, the service felt here was “sufficient justification” to support the development.

Agents Lippe Architects say the proposed development, which could being 20 full-time and part-time jobs to the area, will not have a detrimental impact on the centre of Westhill, but would instead bring forward development of a long vacant plot.

Westhill and Elrick Community Council spearheaded local opposition.

The committee voted 10-2 to defer.