Plans to demolish a former Aberdeen garage to make way for student flats have been branded “exploitative”.
London-based developers McLaren Ltd want to build the six-storey block of flats on George Street, on the grounds of the defunct Uniparts garage.
Under the plans, submitted to Aberdeen City Council this week, the block will comprise of 147 studio apartments and communal facilities on the ground floor. There will also be parking spaces.
A supporting document attached to the application states: “The site is located under a mile from Union Street and Old Aberdeen. The North East Scotland College is located to the south east of the site.
“The proposals will enhance the identity of George Street by replacing a building which offers no contribution to enhancing or complimenting the area, with one whose use is appropriate and is designed in a well-mannered language that is contemporary and sensitive to its surroundings, adopting a scale consistent with it’s neighbours.”
But local councillor Nathan Morrison last night criticised the proposals for new “exploitative” student housing, raising the lack of affordable housing provided to council taxpayers in the city.
The George Street representative said: “I understand that developers like to build these properties because they can squeeze a lot of people into what are sometimes slightly-larger broom cupboards and charge huge rents.
“But they exclude people who aren’t students and probably couldn’t afford the rent anyway.
“I think there needs to be more affordable housing in the city at more reasonable rates.
“People who have lived here all their lives need housing too and they are the ones who pay council tax.”
A manger at the Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative shop, which is located directly across the road from the proposed new flats, said she was “keeping an open mind” about the development.
She said: “You do see a lot of students around this area coming from different parts of the city.
“We’ll have to wait and see what comes out of it.”
A spokesman for McLaren did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.