Rothienorman – not your standard development

Bruce Strachan of our Grampian Chapter reports on a recent visit to the award winning Rothienorman project

The Grampian Chapter’s latest event took place on 18 April, when we were invited by Scotia Homes to its Glenside development at Rothienorman. This was an excellent opportunity to see up close the overall winner of the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning in 2010 and to hear from the developer and architect.

Despite some technical difficulties, Dominic Fairlie of Scotia and John Buchan of MGA gave a good insight into the pre-planning stage, the challenges of designing and developing such an unconventional approach in terms of mix of uses, street scene, house types, affordable housing provision etc. Debra Storr then gave a brief report on the findings of her dissertation, which compared the perceptions and attitudes of residents in the Glenside development with those in two other recent schemes in the village.

Following the presentations, the group began a walkabout that illustrated perfectly how Glenside is not your standard development. The mix of uses, relationship with the street, design and character of buildings and spaces all ‘feel’ different and work well in this location. It was as if the kids and skateboarders playing in the neighbourhood had been laid on especially to make this precise point! A heavy downpour of rain sent everyone scurrying back to The Steadin’ for more questions and another cup of tea. Thanks again to Scotia Homes for sponsoring this successful event.

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