At the Community Council meeting of Fraserburgh on Tuesday, February 21, SNP candidates Ricky Sheaffe-Green and Charles Buchan were in attendance at the Council Chambers.
Councillors Brian Topping, Andy Ritchie and Ian Tait were not present, neither was a representative of Grampian Police.
Instead, it was Councillor Michael Watt who fielded questions from the Community Council on the evening.
The Community Council were, however, given correspondence from Councillor Brian Topping.
He informed the Community Council of the work he had undertaken around Fraserburgh in the past year, including the erection of a bus shelter at Scalloway Park, repairs on Denmark Street, dog waste bins on Boothby Road, and a walking path at Tesco to enable residents to walk around Fraserburgh fully.
Councillor Michael Watt said that constituents had been contacting him since the news of the HMO proposal at the Station Hotel had been rejected, asking what would happen if the owners decided to appeal the decision.
Councillor Watt said:
“I got in contact with the planners and they said, if an appeal is launched, the planning service will inform all valid objectors of the appeal.
“They received 46 valid objections from 42 households,” Councillor Watt added before continuing, “Valid objectors will be given the opportunity to add to their objections.
“No new objections will be accepted, and they must be received within 14 days of confirmation of the appeal.
“It is out-with the councillors hands now if they appeal, and the decision notice [of the rejection] will be issued shortly.
“The applicant will then have 3 months to appeal.”
Councillor Watt went on to add, following a query from the Community Council, that he and a lot of other councillors cannot understand how the owners of the Station Hotel were able to operate an HMO for two-years prior to the planning process.
The councillor was also keen to highlight that anti-social behaviour was not a valid reason for planning permission to be rejected, adding that reports of that nature should be submitted to the HMO officer.
The Station Hotel proposal had been rejected when its approval failed to find a seconder.