Turriff car dealership plan gets the green light
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A plan to redevelop a redundant former military fuel depot site on the outskirts of Turriff has received the backing of local councillors.
Crudie-based business Crown Motors submitted plans to Aberdeenshire Council in January for a redevelopment of the land on the southern approach to the town on the main A947 route.
The proposals include an extensive vehicle display area, along with a new service centre, MOT bay and customer parking.
External and internal electric vehicle charging points would be installed at the site, where the showroom would focus on both hybrid and the next generation of electric cars.
The proposed site is across from an existing tractor and agricultural machinery dealership.
A new footpath has also been proposed for construction from the site to the bus stop on the A947, to provide access to the showroom for pedestrians.
Members of the Formartine area committee heard the application on Tuesday morning and were informed that with approval by the committee it would then be taken to the infrastructure services committee (ISC) for full approval as it would be a departure from the local plan.
Speaking in support of the application councillor Iain Taylor said: "While on the edge of town, it has had an industrial use in the past, but it has little heritage in terms of anything else in the area to do with aviation.
"The scale of the development is of a slight concern but the remediation of the site and its development would far outweigh this.
"I appreciate there are residential properties nearby but with matters specified this will be remediated,
"On the whole, I agree with officers to move this to ISC for approval.
Fellow councillor Alistair Forsyth said: "This presentation by officers has helped illustrate what could be done with this site.
"Like my fellow councillor said it does not have much in the way of heritage and these sites are notorious to repurpose.
"I am content with this site offering a great deal of imagination and employment and the gateway to the town would be greatly improved by this application."
Councillor Anne Stirling said: "Like colleagues I am content for this to be progressed to ISC,
"I also welcome the proposed extension of the 30mph speed limit and lighting.
"I think it would be a good use of the site and content to support this."
The recommendation to approve the application in principal was agreed unanimously by all the committee members and will now go before the next meeting of the infrastructure committee.
The family-run business, which has been in operation for nearly 30 years, is looking to expand their operations from their existing base at Crudie, and believe Turriff is the ideal location to extend their services.
The brownfield site currently contains four redundant fuel storage tanks, which have long been out of use, and were at one time connected to the site on the other side of the A947 when in operation as a fuel depot.
Agent for the application James Ironside said: “Repurposing the site to house the car showroom will improve the visual amenity of the site, and will also provide a sustainable future use for the site.
“The proposals support the development and expansion of a long-established and successful local business and would bring economic benefit to the area, and would support Turriff’s function as a service centre.
“Development of this brownfield site, immediately adjacent to the settlement boundary, in this accessible location and opposite a very similar, but agricultural-based business is a good use of a previously used site.”