The transformation of a former railway station near Turriff into a housing development have gone off track, with proposals recommended for refusal by planners.
Construction firm CA Duguid and Sons are seeking planning permission in principle for a residential project of up to nine homes on the site of the former Auchterless rail yard.
The abandoned station was opened by the Banff, Macduff, and Turriff Junction Railway in 1857, decades before the closure of the Aberdeen to Banff railway line in the late 1960s.
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Auchterless became part of the London and North Eastern Railway in 1923, before it passed on to the Scottish Region of British Railways in 1948 during nationalisation efforts.
The land has been used by CA Duguid and Sons as a storage area, supporting their business activities across the north-east, since the firm purchased the site in the 1980s.
Bosses, however, now have a different use in mind and see the site as the perfect location for a residential development.
In their application, the developers argue the former train station should be considered a brownfield site under the council’s planning policies.
And in a design statement, architectural and building consultant James G Ironside Limited claim the “unique rural location” would provide good public transport links to nearby communities.
The firm said that a “small development” of up to nine family homes would fit “neatly” into the existing area.
And they said it “has the potential of providing a high-quality, sustainable development within a unique rural location, with excellent public transport links to the major service areas of Turriff and Banff to the north, as well as Aberdeen, Dyce, Oldmeldrum and Inverurie to the south.”
Their report adds: “It includes a minimum of two affordable units, which would be constructed by main developer and handed over to either the local authority or a housing association for sale at the appropriate discounted rates.”
But council planning officials have recommended that members of the council’s infrastructure services committee refuse the proposed housing project on the grounds that it is ‘neither small scale, nor on land which constitutes a redundant brownfield opportunity because it has naturalised over time’.
The application will go before councillors on Thursday.