Councillors will be given another chance to comment on controversial regeneration plans for a trio of north-east towns next week.
Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Banff and Buchan area committee will discuss the ‘four towns’ report which covers Banff, Macduff and Fraserburgh as well as Peterhead, which is within the remit of a different committee.
At a meeting earlier this month committee members blasted the proposals from a consortium of designers and planners labelling them “pointless” and a “waste of money.”
Councillors wanted to wait until the results of a public consultation, held just after their meeting, before passing judgement.
While the biggest concerns from the consortium were the aesthetics and character of the towns, locals appeared to want more fundamental changes.
Residents in all Banff, Macduff and Fraserburgh wanted to see new and exciting shops and restaurants opening to save them travelling to Aberdeen, and run-down areas brought back to life.
Recommendations by the consortium included tackling disused buildings, improving catering and hospitality offerings, and developing focal points such as coloured lighting on the Deveron Bridge between Banff and Macduff and a
Hollywood-style sign at the entrance to Macduff.
But councillors were highly critical of the study, which cost about £50,000 to produce.
Committee chairman and councillor for Banff and District, John Cox, said at the time: “I don’t see any benefit to the local economy from what the reports suggest or any new jobs being created as a result.
“They are pretty meaningless and tell nothing we don’t already know.”
Now local councillor Ian Tait shared his ideas on how to breathe new life into Fraserburgh.
He said: “The council should use its compulsory purchase powers to acquire boarded up town centre properties from owners who have shown that they have no intention of putting them on the market.
“I would also like to see the acquisition of a motorised train for tours around the town and beach, starting and finishing at the town centre.”