Plans for a new base for adults with learning disabilities have hit a stumbling block, after councillors raised concerns about their suitability.
Aberdeenshire Council wants to enhance its provision of adult day services with a new facility in the centre of Banff.
The proposed centre at Low Street would replace the existing Kingswells Centre on Seafield Street and include workshop space and a retail outlet.
But members of the Banff and Buchan area committee are not convinced about the cost of the project – and whether it will meet the needs of its users.
Committee chairman John Cox said: “I would like to make it very clear that in no way is the committee against enhancing provision for adults with disabilities.
“However we have to ensure that council money is being used correctly and that the needs of the community come first.
“No inspections of the building at 27 Low Street have been done to ensure it is suitable for people with disabilities.
“I also feel the council is being too quick to consider selling off Kingswells when there is still a need there for it.
“Many disabled people want a quiet place they can visit at weekends and in the evenings – a busy workshop and retail store won’t be suitable.”
Troup councillor Hamish Partridge also called into question the proposed business plan for the new facility.
He said: “From what we have been told its hard to see how the figures add up.
“Its all well and good covering costs but its has to be viable in the long-term – even if it is not for profit.”
If given approval, the former gift shop on Low Street would be transformed into a space for adults with special needs to learn new skills and sell goods they have made.
The council wants to lease the building for a year to see how well it works before committing to any long-term plan.
Project manager Valerie Milne said: “We are confident that the building is suitable and our staff have been in and feel our users could all be accommodated.
“Enhanced provision is something we need to provide by law and our projected costings show that we can remain in budget for this.
“The Kingswells building is no longer deemed fit for purpose and we feel the new facility at Low Street would be much more appropriate.”
Councillors deferred the proposals – for the second time – for further information about.