Conservation area proposals revealed

Fraserburgh Town Hall and council chambers
Fraserburgh Town Hall and council chambers

The proposals for Fraserburgh’s conservation area were revealed to the public on December 3, bringing the possibility of town centre improvements a step closer.

The boundary of the conservation area is proposed to be drawn from the castle along Shore Street to the South Church, taking in most of the town centre, and will include a spur up High Street.

If conservation status is granted, the properties and businesses within the area will be eligible for grants, which can be used to finance improving the condition and appearance of the town centre.

The scheme would also help to publicise Fraserburgh’s historic attractions, including the University of Fraserburgh, the council chamber building and the Warld’s End building, where the 1745 rebellion was plotted.

The proposals have already been provisionally approved by an area committee, and funding applications have been made to Historic Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The funding bodies have already made visits to the town to evaluate Fraserburgh’s built environment, and their decision on whether to award grants is expected to be taken at some point in the new year.

The final decision by the area committee on the conservation area will be informed by the ongoing public consultation.

The drop-in event at the council chamber in Saltoun Square on December 3, where the plans were revealed, was well attended by members of Fraserburgh’s business community.

Councillor Charles Buchan, who has been pushing for a conservation area in Fraserburgh since he was elected in 2012, said: “I’m delighted that Fraserburgh has finally reached this stage. Applying for conservation area status has always appeared to me to be an obvious step, especially since Peterhead and Banff made successful applications for this 20 years ago.

“One of the most common complaints about Fraserbugh is that the town centre looks run down. Conservation area status will allow us to apply for large grants of up to £1 million, as opposed to small sums of money available to us at the council, to go towards remedying this.

“People at the public meeting seemed happy with the zone proposals so I have high hopes for the future of the project.”

Fraserburgh’s Super Saturdays have also played host to more informal public consultations on the proposal.

Councillor Buchan said: “There was a lot of public interest in the preliminary consultations at Super Saturdays and the mood was generally supportive”.

The public are being encouraged to submit their views on the conservation area proposal by contacting the Fraserburgh Regeneration Officer at Aberdeenshire Council on 01346 586323.