Bid by Police Scotland to build flats near station in Blackhall Road
NEW plans to build flats on a wooded area at the grounds of Inverurie police station have been lodged with Aberdeenshire Council.
Police Scotland is seeking permission to build nine two-bedroom flats in a three-storey block on land by the station in Blackhall Road.
Documents submitted with the application show that to make way for the development a total of 61 trees would have to be chopped down.
The proposal forms part of the force's wider programme to dispose of land and unused premises across the country as the result of a review, which has seen several properties, such as the former station at Kemnay take new owners.
Last December, Dundee-based agents Graham+Sibbald submitted a request to Aberdeenshire Council to get formal feedback on the potential development of the site where two potential options were presented to the council: a nine-flat residential scheme or a commercial drive-thru development.
In February, the council recommended the former which cautions after a failed attempt to create a drive-thru directly opposite the site within the grounds of the Morrison's store.
That application sought the creation of a small McDonald's restaurant and was firmly rejected over the loss of woodland on the site and concerns over site layout, a situation which was conversely accepted by Aberdeenshire Council when plans for an almost identical layout were approved within the car park of Asda in Fraserburgh.
The site is known to include a variety of mature trees which are registered on the ancient woodland inventory as "long-established".
Making up part of Inverurie's Davah Wood, a total of 61 would have to be felled if Police Scotland's plans are approved.
Planning documents state: "The current dense tree coverage detracts the local community from using this site as amenity greenspace.
"The removal of the poor-quality trees and development of the site for residential use will open up the site and create a more formal landscaped setting.
"The proposal for a deliverable and effective residential development is considered to be a public benefit which outweighs the retention of the poor-quality tree-stock which provides no current amenity value."
Developers added the new flats would result in a "visual improvement" and create more open space to benefit the wider Inverurie community.
Public comments on the plans can be submitted through the council's website planning pages.