Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Denburn House: Former Aberdeen offices to be turned into 72 flats despite claims homes will be ‘barely habitable’

Denburn House will be converted into flats. Supplied by Roddie Reid, design team
Denburn House will be converted into flats. Supplied by Roddie Reid, design team

Historic Aberdeen offices will be turned into housing – despite developers being accused of “trying to squeeze as many flats as possible” into the building.

Mandale Homes’ plans for Denburn House have now been approved by the council.

The firm will transform the Grade B-Listed building overlooking Union Terrace Gardens into 72 flats.

The development will comprise 14 studio apartments, 45 one-bed, nine two-bed and four three-bed flats.

But the number of properties proposed for the venue has been a major bone of contention among Aberdeen architects objecting to the scheme.

Denburn House on Union Terrace.

Would Denburn House flats be ‘barely habitable’?

Jack Burnett-Stuart, vice-chairman of Bon Accord Heritage but commenting in his own right, said the design of the apartments was “substandard”.

He added: “Behind the grand facades on Union Terrace, the developer is seeking to squeeze in as many tiny flats as possible, Many of which are barely habitable, let alone offering any quality of life for the inhabitant.

The contrast could not be more stark, and runs counter to any attempt to regenerate the city centre.”

“With imagination and ambition, the adaptive reuse of these buildings has great potential.”

Developers have been accused of sacrificing quality of life in pushing for 72 flats.

‘Window-less bedrooms’ among concerns listed

Meanwhile the Aberdeen Civic Society said it welcomed the re-use of the vacant office building.

But members fear the flats would not do much to attract families to live in the city centre.

The group criticised “the very large number of low-ceilinged small flats, some designed with window-less bedrooms, arranged along long corridors”.

Their letter of objection states: “A better mixture of flat types and greater amenity is required for this valuable site if the goal of reviving Aberdeen’s city centre is to be met.”

The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS) also raised concerns.

The group said: “Parts might be used as a whole range of domestic uses from hostel to fancy hotel, in sizes from single to family use.”

Objections swept aside as council rubber-stamps Denburn House flats

Despite these objections, council planners have given the scheme their blessing.

They argued that the changes would “preserve the special character of the listed building” with no adverse impact on Union Terrace.

Denburn House overlooks Union Terrace Gardens. Picture by Kenny Elrick

Flats are latest stage in Denburn House history

Denburn House is made up of three separate six-storey buildings built between 1896 and 1902 that were eventually merged.

In the 1980s the three original buildings were demolished but the main granite frontage was retained.

A new layout was later constructed to form open plan office space.

Denburn House looks on to Union Terrace Gardens, which is weeks away from reopening following a major upgrade.

The project is the latest in the Granite City for the developers.

Mandale Homes were behind the renovation of Custom House on Guild Street and bosses recently submitted plans to convert the former Ruby House office block on Silver Street into 65 flats.

You can see the plans here.

All the latest planning stories

Already a subscriber? Sign in