Councillors were yesterday urged to reconsider proposals to demolish a former business centre building in Peterhead.
Glenugie Business Centre and a neighbouring property on Windmill Street went on the market three years ago for £450,000 but have lain empty since.
A mystery buyer recently put forward a reduced offer of £120,000 to take account of the level of asbestos discovered in the property.
But the offer was rejected by the Buchan area committee.
It would have cost about £160,000 to remove the material from the building.
The potential buyer is now no longer interested in the sale but has written to councillors pleading with them not to demolish the “landmark” building.
It came on the back of a council decision last week to compile a fresh report focusing on options to demolish the property and instead use the site for affordable housing and car parking.
The letter to councillors states: “It would be a great shame to lose some of the finest structures around and to replace them.
“The proposals are to demolish the buildings and create affordable housing.
“I can see the community benefit to build the housing, although this has already been proposed and rejected several times due to the high cost.
“Aside from the cost, demolishing these buildings would remove a part of history that can never be recreated.
“Although these buildings are not listed and just outside the Peterhead regeneration zone, they are still of great local historical importance to Peterhead, especially considering they are built from pink granite that is so well connected with Peterhead.”
Peterhead councillor Stephen Calder believes the building should have been given listed status years ago, along with many others in the area, to offer them protection.
He said: “Two years ago I put 20 buildings on a list – beautiful buildings of significance, including the tower of the old school that’s part of Glenugie.
“I know it’s in bad condition but it’s not in a conservation zone and it’s not listed so there’s not a thing we can do or use to protect the property if plans come forward to demolish it.
“The conservation area was drawn up in the ’80s and the listings are old too so we need to update those and protect our buildings.”