Bid to extend affordable housing waiver for Aberdeen’s Greyfriars House site

Bid to extend affordable housing waiver for Aberdeen's Greyfriars House site

Greyfriars House before it was demolished

The company behind plans to build 140 homes on a city centre site in Aberdeen has requested an extension to an affordable housing waiver in order to progress with the development.

Site owner Telereal Trillium was granted planning permission in principle to deliver dozens of apartments at the site of Greyfriars House, which was demolished around the time of approval three years ago.

One of two options unveiled at the time showed 115 apartments – 26 studios, 52 one-bedroom, 29 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom flats. Under a maximised illustrative scheme, the project would consist of 140 units, dominated by 88 studio flats with 48 one-beds and four two-bedroom homes.

Under the planning agreement, the council would not seek a contribution towards Aberdeen’s affordable housing stock, as the developer took advantage of the waiver brought in to encourage development in the city centre.

Now, the company is pleading with the local authority to extend the waiver on the need to include affordable homes, claiming its withdrawal would hamper its efforts to progress the development.

Telereal Trillium previously said the stipulation had been a “beneficial factor” in talks with housebuilders, however in the case of the Greyfriars House development, it is due to expire on January 31.

New papers submitted to the council plead for this deadline to be extended.

Documents submitted by Calton Planning and Development state: “Some offers have come close and the developers have made it clear that if the waiver falls and affordable housing has to be provided the site value/offer value will accordingly reduce and lead to a nominal value.

“As a result, the waiver is a vital instrument to keep this site attractive to developers, once the market activity for city centre housing recovers.”

Telereal Trillium has been marketing the site to housebuilders since April 2021. By the end of 2022, the company admitted that it was struggling to bring the development to fruition.

Despite the promise of a “renewed effort” to get things moving in 2023, the site remains in limbo.

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