TRANSPORT chiefs has warned that better connections are “essential” to allow Westhill to grow and flourish.

Regional transport partnership Nestrans said it would be “incongruous” to allow further expansion without improvements.

The warning is made in feedback on the proposed Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan 2016.

In a report for the Nestrans board, the partnership‘s transport strategy manager Rab Dickson said: “If further land allocations are to be made in this area, significant improvements to the transport infrastructure (both local and strategic mitigation) and substantial efforts to encourage travel by sustainable modes would need to be an essential requirement for any development.”

Although Westhill is not included within a Strategic Growth Area, the plan also states that significant traffic congestion is an issue.

Mr Dickson said: “The allocation of site R1 for future expansion of sub-sea industries is therefore incongruous, particularly on the south side of the B9119, which is unsuitable for additional traffic.”

He added there was a case for seeking contributions to a regional transport kitty – used to fund major projects – as well as money for local tweaks.

Mr Dickson said: “The traffic implications of such development would need to be addressed and the Plan should commit to including a requirement for developer contributions to the Strategic Transport Fund (STF) if this site were to be developed.

“Although the STF does not normally seek contributions from outwith the Strategic Growth Areas, as the Plan states, this site is not in conformity with the Strategic Development Plan and therefore an exceptional circumstance.”