A weed-choked gap site which has blighted a north-east town centre for nearly three decades is finally being redeveloped.
Work is underway at a crumbling townhouse in Banff’s Carmelite Street which was partially demolished in the 1980s amid fears it was in danger of collapsing.
The prominent eyesore plot has been left vacant ever since, despite many attempts to regenerate it.
Now Aberdeenshire Council has started work on plans to build three flats at the location.
Although the work has been praised by council chiefs as an “important milestone” for Banff, a pensioners’ group has criticised the local authority for the way it has gone about closing up the road around site during the first phase of development.
Part of Carmelite Street has been closed to traffic for about three weeks, with vehicles diverted along nearby Bridge Street.
Michael MacGillvray, president of the Macduff Old Folks Association, said: “I think the council could have given us more warning about this work. A lot of people had no idea it was happening.
“People are walking into the centre to do their shopping and expecting to get a bus home. But this closure means they will have to walk back, usually up steep roads like Strait Path, which can be very difficult for some people, or take a taxi, which can be expensive.
“I would imagine that more people will simply decided to take the bus to Turriff and doing their shopping there, because its easier.”
The council has apologised to residents for any inconvenience. A spokesman said the first three weeks will require the street to be closed off completely. Extra closures may be needed at later dates, but it is hoped these will be kept to a minimum and during off peak times.