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Council opens new front in fight against A-listing of city high rises

Seamount Court
Seamount Court

Councillors have launched another last-ditch attempt to stop eight Aberdeen high rises being given top protected status.

A public consultation by Heritage Environment Scotland (HES) ends today on plans to award Category A-listed protections to Gilcomstoun Land, Porthill Court, Seamount Court, Marischal Court, Virginia Court, Thistle Court, Hutcheon Court and Greig Court.

On Wednesday, the local authority’s chief executive Angela Scott was instructed by members of the council’s capital programme committee to write to the heritage body opposing the plans.

But yesterday, top planning officials were tasked with setting out their technical reasons for concern about the proposals to HES.

As the planning authority, and responsible for making decisions on future applications for work on the listed buildings, it was agreed this second effort must maintain the committee’s “neutrality”.

Council co-leaders Jenny Laing and Douglas Lumsden have accused HES of having “already made up their mind” and being intent on pushing the A-listing through.

They fear protected status – akin to the likes of Marischal College and Dunnottar Castle – would increase maintenance costs, restricting their ability to improve housing stock elsewhere.

Future safety improvements might soon be required in light of recommendations from the ongoing inquiry in the Grenfell Tower fire.

Councillors have urged members of the public – especially those living in the high rises in question – to submit their views ahead of the consultation ending at 5pm.

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