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Plans for old Banff shop to be converted into more than a dozen flats refused

Plans have been resubmitted to convert the former Cruickshanks store in Banff into flats
Plans have been resubmitted to convert the former Cruickshanks store in Banff into flats

Plans to turn a former north-east furniture shop into more than a dozen flats have been refused.

Andrew Buchan wanted to convert the former Cruickshanks House Furnishers store on High Street, Banff.

But following a site visit for councillors, Banff and Buchan Area Committee refused the application, fearing it would create a “significant negative impact” on nearby residents.

The proposed development would have seen the furniture shop transformed into 13 new flats while the existing M&Co. store would have remained in place.

The majority of the existing shop along with new space within the extended roof would have formed ten two-bedroom and three one-bedroom apartments over three floors.

The application prompted two objections, raising issues including lack of car parking and that the homes would overlook onto neighbouring properties.

Lack of parking was a concern

Meanwhile Banff and Macduff Community Council said its members were “concerned about parking for the shop and 13 residential flats on this busy main road”.

Aberdeenshire Council’s roads team also objected to the plan due to the lack of car parking.

Local authority planners said that, while they welcomed the reuse of the vacant building, there would be a “significant negative impact” on neighbouring residents.

They also added the lack of car parking would have a “negative impact” on road safety in the area and recommended that the plan be refused.

Councillor Glen Reynolds said he found the site visit “very useful” but had concerns about the flats overlooking neighbouring properties.

He moved that the plan be refused.

Following a brief discussion, the application was unanimously refused by councillors.

Shop had been part of Banff’s furniture for more than 100 years

In its time Cruickshanks employed 16 people across three sites – at Huntly, Banff and Buckie – until the “everything must go” signs went up.

The Huntly store was the last to close, shutting its doors for the final time in 2018.

It brought down the curtain on a familiar name in retailing in the Aberdeenshire town, where Cruickshanks had been on the go for more than 100 years.

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