The developer behind the major transformation of Inverurie Loco Works has lodged revised plans to create a second hostel on the site.
Malcolm Allan Housebuilders first revealed plans to create two hostel-style accommodation blocks, mainly for offshore workers heading to or from a job, late last year.
But in February, councillors approved only one of the applications – effectively slashing the size of the development by more than 60% – amid concerns about parking, traffic, loss of amenity and security.
Now the developer has scaled back its plans for the carriage building, and wants to 20 larger bedrooms instead of 37. Other changes include creating a manned reception area, instead of the key-card system previously put forward, a shared dining and lounge area.
The building, which has already been part-converted into 40 flats, will be accessed at the front of the building, and guests will have no access to the courtyard used by residents of the adjoining flats.
A supporting statement put together by William Lippe Architects says the plans were reduced in light of councillors’ concerns about the “high intensity of development” with no shared facilities, and so that it would be in “keeping” with the other developments on the site.
It adds: “This proposal offers a type of development and accommodation which is arguably in demand within Aberdeenshire and is located in an area which has a number of benefits in terms of accessibility and access to services and facilities.
“The reduction in the number of bedrooms and provision of supporting facilities will ensure there is no unreasonable impact on the surrounding residential amenity, reducing the intensity of development and eliminating the reasons for refusal of the previous application.”
The developers also point out that the approved 20-bedroom hostel, in the former canteen building, has been in operation since March 2 with no complaints.
They also say that income generated from the developments will go towards creating a permanent home for the Garioch Heritage Society within the same building.