Councillors have backed plans to convert a former furniture store in Banff into nine flats despite worries they could overlook their neighbours.
Andrew Buchan had previously applied to redevelop the vacant Cruickshanks House Furnishers unit on Banff’s High Street in March 2021.
He initially wanted to create 13 new apartments on the site, but the proposal was refused last year.
But he amended the blueprints and lodged a second attempt to redevelop the site just a few months later.
The new development will transform the existing shop floor and roof space into a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments.
A small retail boutique store will also be included.
The building was put on the market back in 2018 after business owner Michael Brodie retired.
Concerns raised over privacy and road safety
Three residents had objected to the tweaked proposal raising worries about the “overbearing” development.
They believed opening previously blocked windows would lead to overlooking surrounding properties, while there was also concern over a lack of parking.
As no additional car parking spaces were proposed with the application, there was concern future residents would use the existing car park at the nearby County Hotel.
One letter of support was also received, saying it would be a “very positive use” of the property that would help to “enhance and enliven the local area and economy”.
However, council planners had recommended the proposal be refused.
‘What’s the alternative? We’ll have another empty building in Banff’
The application went before the Banff and Buchan area committee yesterday.
Banff and District councillor Glen Reynolds went against the planners’ recommendation and urged his committee members to approve the plan.
He asked that obscure glazing be installed on some of the windows to address any privacy concerns.
Councillor John Cox backed the proposal saying it “ticks all of the boxes” regarding regeneration of the town.
He added: “What’s the alternative? We’ll have another empty building in Banff.”
The committee then unanimously agreed to grant the application.
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[Former Banff Cruickshanks store to be transformed into nine flats]