Plans to transform a north-east town’s former police station into a holiday cottage have been approved.
The police station on Church Street in Portsoy has been out of action for more than a year, after the force formed plans to bring in £6 million by scrapping 53 buildings across Scotland.
Last year, 30 were put on the market in the hope that the neglected properties could be refurbished and granted a new lease of life.
After purchasing the old station in Portsoy, north-east couple Colin and Wendy Clements lodged plans to convert the building into a holiday home two months ago.
Now, Aberdeenshire Council officers have approved the proposals and an extensive overhaul in conjunction with Buckie-based Ross Cowie Architects can begin.
Alterations will include removing the chimney, installing two roof lights, the remodelling of the external stairs and railings, replacing the windows and doors, new window openings, the demolition of sheds and the rebuilding of the rubble boundary wall.
Local councillors believe the work will be worthwhile, and will help the area prosper.
Glen Reynolds expressed his delight that another building is being put into use while also “respecting the character of the area”.
He said: “The fresh vision for the former Portsoy police station will mean it is opened up to tourists.
“Empty properties are not helpful to any area.
“The closure of this station is part of a wider debate of course, surrounding the closure of front line services by the police.
“I will be seeking confirmation from the police that the closure will have no impact on the operational side of policing in and around the town, and I am confident that the great work of our local police force will continue unabated. ”
Councillor John Cox added: “I’m pleased to see an unused building being put back into use.
“The battle to retain local police stations was lost a long time ago, but with mobile communications the loss is addressed in some aspects.”
Facilities at Kemnay, Cruden Bay, Oldmeldrum, and Insch were also deemed surplus to requirements in 2017.
Police said that continuing to run the buildings “did not provide best value or help achieve financial sustainability”.
Mr and Mrs Clements were unavailable for comment on the decision.