Controversial plans to demolish an historic Aberdeen school and replace it with housing have been rejected again by councillors.
Barratt Homes North have long wanted to knock down Victoria Road Primary in Torry and build 56 homes.
But the city council’s planning committee unanimously rejected the scheme after officers said it did not re-use enough of the Aberdeen granite that the school was built from.
The decision could be a final victory for Torry and Ferryhill SNP member Graham Dickson who last night announced he would not be seeking re-election in the coming May vote.
The deputy leader of the SNP group will go travelling with his new wife and then seek “new opportunities” overseas.
He told the committee the 557 objections submitted against the plan was “the highest he’d ever heard of”.
He added: “Granite heritage is a vital part of it, but even if that wasn’t the case, refusal should still be made due to overdevelopment of the site.
“For me this is a very clear cut decision to refuse.”
Deputy council leader Marie Boulton, who sits on the committee, said that Aberdeen should look to capitalise on its reputation as the Granite City to international visitors.
She said: “Aberdeen is known for its granite and we have already lost too many buildings that we didn’t need to lose.
“We have heard that the site is too small for a school but I think we should explore all options to retain the building for some use.”
Torry Community Council secretary David Fryer said: “We are pleased that the council has recognised not just the local viewpoint but one that people have contacted them about throughout the world.
“I believe that Barratt will recognise the strength of local feeling and talk to the community about what to do with the site.”
Douglas McLeod, regional director at Barratt Scotland, said: “We are very disappointed with the decision taken on the site at Victoria Road.
“We are now considering our options to determine if we can offer an alternative design for the development which will deliver much needed new homes whilst making use of new and existing granite.”