A scheme to convert an “eyesore” Aberdeenshire cottage into flats has been thrown out amid flooding fears.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Garioch area committee yesterday rejected plans to demolish Strathburn Cottage, on Inverurie’s Middlemuir Road, and transform it into 18 flats.
Councillors had been asked to back the proposals by Chap Homes on a delegated grant despite 12 objections from the local community.
But the property is adjacent to the Strath Burn and was described by the council’s flood team as a “problem site”.
The flats would have been split across two separate, two-storey buildings and included car parking spaces. Four of the properties were designated as affordable.
Speaking at the meeting, Lee Watson, of the council’s flood prevention unit said the alleviation measures in the plans took “a slight edge off” the flooding problems at Strath Burn.
However, he added: “It is a real problem site. It floods repeatedly. There is a 5% chance in any given year that the site will flood. The amount of flooding we are speaking about, it is huge.”
Both the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) and the council’s flood prevention unit withdrew objections to the plans.
However Inverurie and District SNP councillor, Bryan Stuart, moved to refuse them.
He said: “This is obviously a brownfield site and will be developed [in the future]. Any development will have to manage flood risk.
“I have known this site ever since becoming a councillor. I don’t see how we could possibly justify the scale of the development of this site.
“I don’t think the fundamental concerns have been adequately addressed.”
Fellow SNP councillor for the town and Aberdeenshire Provost, Hamish Vernal, backed refusal of the plans but added: “Sepa have not objected to this, neither have our own flood prevention team.
“If that is what the experts say, I think we should be accepting that. This is an eyesore that needs to be developed. I hope that it comes back for development.”
Council planning spokeswoman Hilary Wilkinson said the plans were “considered to be acceptable”.