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Developer lodges plans for 50 new flats at former Aberdeen school site

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Plans to transform a fire-hit former school into flats have been lodged with the city council.

Grampian Housing Association (GHA) has submitted plans to redevelop Victoria Road School into 50 affordable homes, a nursery and community space.

Under the plans, the derelict granite building would be restored and there would be landscaping and parking.

GHA and Torry Development Trust (TDT) have been working together to develop the proposals and if approved by Aberdeen City Council, work would start in the summer of 2020.

Architect Steven Berry, from David Murray Associates, will lead the project.

Neil Clapperton, chief executive of Grampian Housing Association, said: “It is an exciting time for this project. Responding to people’s housing needs is at the heart of this project.

“In an area where there is high demand for affordable homes, the development will provide quality homes for social rent to meet the varying housing needs of families, couples and single people.

“Our plans will assist people who want to live in a new setting on Victoria Road while community facilities will breathe new life into Old Torry.”

Victoria Road School after the fire.

David Fryer, lead trustee with Torry Development Trust, said: “The planning application for our project is a measure of the collaborative commitment to this innovative community regeneration project by the GHA/TDT partnership and has been developed to meet local needs.

“We are ambitious for the project and for the community of Torry and we will use every endeavour to start work on site this coming summer.”

Before the plans were lodged, the public got the chance to view the scheme and give their feedback.

A consultation results report submitted alongside the application reads: “There was a clear consensus that the proposals address local needs and the vision for the site is seen to be imaginative and exciting.”

However, developers admitted they had been faced with a new challenge after school was hit by a massive fire in May and significantly damaged.

Mr Berry carried out a full internal assessment of the property including the parts damaged by the fire to ensure the building was safe enough to proceed.

Before the keys to the site were handed over to the Torry Development Trust, the primary school’s fate was repeatedly threatened with demolition.

The 141-year-old building served Torry until its closure in 2008.

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