Five houses will be built on the site of a crumbling coach house so its owner can fund repairs to the historic building.
Councillors on the Buchan area committee yesterday unanimously approved the application to build the properties on the land of Brucklay Castle’s coach house.
They made the decision following an outing in a council bin lorry that convinced officials roads around the site will be safe following the development.
The gothic 19th century stables, near Maud, have been on the Buildings at Risk Register for decades.
To revamp the structure and bring it back into a suitable condition would require a lot of investment.
So owner Ian Bruce, managing director of Thistle Windows, applied for permission to build five large homes to cover the cost.
The decision had been deferred at a previous meeting due to concerns raised by Aberdeenshire Council’s roads and waste management officials.
But planning officer Alan Davidson said that after a group trip in a bin lorry to the site, they established the road could be made safe.
Mr Davidson said: “Waste management, planners and the applicant all went out, without too many details, in a bin lorry onto the track to see if we could resolve the issue and we’ve been able to do so.
“The main issue is that a water course goes under the track. It’s a culvert and to get past it the lorry would have to go on the embankment.
“We’ve agreed that at a certain point in the track it has to be made wider, with slabs on the culvert and kerbing on both sides.”
Mr Davidson said he believed that would “satisfy everyone and resolve the issues”.
Such a move would remove any need for refuse workers to park on the A950, Mintlaw to New Pitsligo road, and cross the road to collect bins.
Upon hearing the news that his detached property development plans could go ahead, Mr Bruce said: “I’m so happy. We’ve finally got the good news we were hoping for.”
He said there would still be challenges ahead, but added: “It’s good to get the approval even when there’s so much uncertainty going on as it means we’re a step closer to getting the coach house off the buildings at risk register.”