Councillors have expressed support for the improvement of a Banff street and the regeneration of a nearby property which they described as an “embarrassment” to the town.
Analysis of the Bridge Street Public Realm Improvement consultation was presented to the Banff and Buchan Area Committee this week.
The design plan submitted by officers includes widening the pavements, increasing the lighting and helping boost the appearance of the street while also improving drainage to acknowledge the fact it is a known flood risk.
As part of the improvements, the street would only open to traffic on a one-way basis and have limited parking in a bid to give priority to pedestrians.
The outcome of the consultation showed that more than 60 of the 70 respondents argued that the appearance was one of Bridge Street’s main issues.
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17 responders agreed the proposed plans would be the best solution to the street’s problems and 12 people felt that empty and derelict buildings should also be a priority.
Bridge Street is part of the Banff Conservation Area Regeneration (CAR) Scheme.
Officers also provided an update on the property at No 6 Deveronside which is in an “advanced stage of decay” and is seeking a new use.
The owner has agreed to work with officers to find a viable renovation option or discuss whether demolition is appropriate.
Councillor Michael Roy congratulated the council officers presenting the reports.
He said: “This report is long overdue. The proposals for Bridge Street in my mind are excellent and the people’s interest has been great.
“As for (No 6) Deveronside, that building has been a blight on the landscape of Banff as long as I can remember and it is an embarrassment for the town.
“I do understand there are restrictions on it due to the risk of flooding.
“Due to it’s closeness to the harbour, the ground floor could be considered for commercial use, retail or small industrial use and the upper floors made into some sort of housing.
“Half a million pounds has been spent on the CAR Scheme, which includes Bridge Street, over the past five years.
“This project ends at the end of March, so it’s good to see progress with regards to Bridge Street.”
The street is closed for works on several properties at the moment to create accommodation for people visiting the Smiddy Silversmiths.
Councillor Mark Findlater said: “Bridge Street has been part of the scheme for years and a great deal of work has been spent on this.”