The fate of a historic Aberdeen building has become the centre of a political feud.
Save Westburn House Action Group has recently been formed to bring the derelict A-listed building in Westburn Park back into use.
But local politicians have differing ideas on what the future of Westburn House should be.
Midstocket councillor and North-East MSP Tom Mason has written in a local newsletter that the property has “passed the point beyond which it could be renovated” and suggested the possibility of a “complete replica in modern materials, but celebrating the architectural style of the original building” as a potential solution.
However, Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart said proposals to knock the 1839 property down and build a replacement show “disrespect” to the city’s history.
Mr Stewart said: “It is a disgrace that a senior councillor whose own administration has left Westburn House to rot now appears to be calling for its demolition so an imitation can be erected in its place.
“These comments show disrespect to our city’s heritage and pride in Archibald Simpson, a great architect, and the legacy he left which the Tory and suspended Labour administration have left neglected.”
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Over the last 20 years, Westburn House has lain empty and been severely damaged by weather and vandals.
Last night, the Scottish Conservatives accused Mr Stewart of overreacting, and pointed out his SNP colleague who represents the area has previously suggested Westburn House “needs to be pulled”.
A spokesman said: “Tom was simply bemoaning the fact that Westburn House has fallen into serious disrepair.
“Even the local SNP councillor Bill Cormie agrees that the site is like ‘a rotten tooth that needs to be pulled’.
“It is only right that all options are considered.”
Gavin Esslemont, founder of the Save Westburn House Action Group, said proposals to rejuvenate the site have to be realistic.
He said: “It has to make sense for the building. If we can retain what’s there at the moment, then happy days, but you have to be practical about these things.
“But ultimately, it comes down to cost and time. The blocks are in pretty good nick, the steelwork is in pretty good nick, so if we could reuse or retain those materials that would be ideal, but if it does prove to be too costly and expensive then we have to be realistic.
“A replica would have to look exactly the same as it did in 1901.”