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West end councillor speaks out on “totally unsuited” Hamilton School plans

Locator of the former Hamilton School, Queens Road, Aberdeen.
Picture by Jim Irvine  13-7-17
Locator of the former Hamilton School, Queens Road, Aberdeen. Picture by Jim Irvine 13-7-17

A councillor says plans to build another hotel will increase road safety fears in what should be a “quiet back lane” in the city centre.

Martin Grieg hit out against what he called the “totally unsuited” proposal to transform the former Hamilton School site on Queens Road.

The West End representative would usually have been among planning committee members visiting the site today – and barred from speaking publicly about the application until it is formally debated.

Hamilton School: Angry residents fight plans for new hotel and restaurant complex

But the Liberal Democrat is on holiday in Italy and unable to take his place with the panel so decided to break his silence.

Last night Mr Greig confirmed he would now not be taking part in any future meeting and had officially lodged his objection with council officers.

Status Properties Limited, made up of Ivor Finnie, Alan Wallace and others, are behind plans to convert the former B-listed school.

The new venue would be sandwiched between the Chester Hotel and Malmaison – leading to locals voicing fears of increased traffic, noise and smell if it is granted permission.

The school closed in February 2014 after the Scottish Government and Care Inspectorate raised safety concerns

Mr Greig said: “This is an inappropriate over development ‎that is wholly unsuited to the area.

“Harlaw Road residents have already suffered hugely from noise and disturbance caused by the proximity of other nearby hotels.

“It is not fair to inflict this further unwelcome development on neighbouring households.

“As a large hotel, there is no comparison with the previous use as a school.

“The hours and type of operation would be completely different as a 24 hours a day business.

“Queens Lane South should be a quiet back lane for residents but is being turned into a hazardous road safety environment due to the unwanted risks and pressures caused by the traffic of businesses that have been allowed to move into Queens Road.”

A report to councillors had recommended approving the plan, citing “adequate provision” for car parking and drainage while extending the listed building was considered “acceptable and appropriate in the localised context”.

After the site visit today members will again have to consider the application.

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