A derelict supermarket could be given a new lease of life after the council approved plans to create a new place of worship in the north-east.
Plans to turn Fraserburgh’s former Co-op store on Albert Street into a new church were first unveiled two years ago.
And now the town’s Assembly of God (AOG) has won planning permission to make the scheme a reality.
It is the second time the AOG has proposed converting the massive supermarket into a place of worship, having previously been given the go-ahead to start works in 2015, but the group had to resubmit its vision after permission lapsed.
It is now hoped that the building, which was earmarked for demolition in 2014, can become a new base for the port’s Christian community.
As well as providing a new space for worship and a concert hall, the development is set to also create offices for the church’s media team and house a cafe.
Separate senior and youth areas could also be provided and the outside would be landscaped.
And early designs have shown it to include an indoor half-pipe for skaters and a play area for toddlers.
The 25,000sq ft shop was abandoned when the Co-operative Group dropped it in favour of a smaller unit nearby.
Sales at the supermarket were said to have been hit by the launch of a Tesco store on the outskirts of Fraserburgh.
Bridge of Don-based Tinto Architecture, which has designed the new church, had earlier submitted plans to convert the old shop into 30 housing units which would have also provided six affordable properties in the town centre.
But those proposals were withdrawn before going to local councillors for a decision in 2014.
Plans for a replacement store also drew criticism from some residents in nearby College Bounds and Charlotte Lane who feared that noise from refrigeration units and delivery vans could keep them awake.
Lead pastor of the AOG in Fraserburgh, Ben Ritchie, said the building would be available for the whole of the community when complete.
“We are delighted to have been granted full planning permission for the alterations to the building at Albert Street,” he added.
“This marks another significant milestone in the project and brings us a step closer to the new building, which the whole Fraserburgh community will benefit from.”