‘Unreasonable’ planning stipulation removed at Aberdeen office conversion

A planning stipulation that threatened to halt the development of new homes in Aberdeen has been removed by the Scottish Government.

'Unreasonable' planning stipulation removed at Aberdeen office conversion

Early plans for the Dyce office block

London-based property developer Xusa received the green light to convert a disused office block in Dyce into a complex of 50 modern apartments and public space back in 2020.

However, Aberdeen City Council imposed a condition that the homes must be for rent and could not be sold.

Council planners had argued that the layout, design and siting of the flats would not make them satisfactory for buyers. They added that it would be “acceptable” only as a private-rented scheme, guidance that councillors duly followed when approving it.

Following an appeal lodged by Aurora Planning on behalf of Xusa, The Press & Journal reports that the Scottish Government has now overruled the council and removed the clause.

The planning firm said: “The condition means that the proposed development can operate only as a private rented sector development, which is contrary to the aspirations and business model of the applicant.

“It effectively renders the development undeliverable.”

Scottish Government reporter Mike Shiel agreed, branding the condition “not necessary” and “unreasonable”.

He said: “The appellant has argued that, despite an extensive investigation, no potential buyers or funders have expressed an interest in carrying out the development with the current restriction.

“I do not support the council’s view on the matter.”

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