Fresh hope for vacant Broch plot

After assurances were sought on the purchasers readiness to begin the development, which is subject to planning approval, the members agreed to give permission to sell the site to George West Ltd.
After assurances were sought on the purchasers readiness to begin the development, which is subject to planning approval, the members agreed to give permission to sell the site to George West Ltd.

A Fraserburgh councillor has welcomed an agreement to sell a council-owned development site at the town’s South Harbour Road.

Permission was granted to sell the site, which has lain vacant for a number of years, to fishing firm George West Ltd by Aberdeenshire Council’s Business Services Committee.

The proposals from the purchaser would see it turned into a mixed-use business and retail site, bringing employment opportunities to the town, generating money for the economy.

SNP councillor Brian Topping said he was “particularly pleased” that the plans include proposals for a seafood centre of excellence to be located in the town.

The sale had been scrutinised by both the Area and Policy Committee before the agreement was reached.

After assurances were sought on the purchaser’s readiness to begin the development, which is subject to planning approval, the members agreed to give permission to sell the site to George West Ltd.

The report to committee said that providing a wider range of facilities may encourage more people to visit the town and could prevent the loss of shoppers to other areas. An alternative offer for the site was on the table but was earlier withdrawn by the bidder.

The move has been welcomed at the council particularly as the site itself has been defunct for such a long period.

And committee members are confident that it can be put to good use for the wider benefit of the local economy in years to come.

Chair of the Business Services Committee, Councillor Jim Gifford said: “I am confident that the Fraserburgh site will be developed to the benefit of the wider town.”

Vice-chair Councillor Mike Roy said: “It is reassuring to see progress on the Fraserburgh site. This will be a real boost to the town.

“ I look forward to seeing more detail about how it will be developed.

Welcoming the announcement Councillor Topping - chair of the Fraserburgh Regeneration Group - added: “I very much welcome this announcement, which will see this site developed and contribute to the economy of Fraserburgh and district.

“I’m particularly pleased that the plans include proposals for a seafood centre of excellence to be located in the town.

“This is a good news announcement for the Broch.

“As chair of the Regeneration Group for the town I’m keen to see opportunities like this developed so that local people benefit from increased employment opportunities.”

Echoing those sentiments, Councillor Charles Buchan said: “I am delighted that Aberdeenshire Council has announced the sale of the prime Fraserburgh Gateway site to a local enterprise.

“This is another sign that the prospects for Fraserburgh’s economic development is on the up, following Moray Off-shore Wind development choice of Fraserburgh as their O+M hub.

“Fraserburgh has always lived from the sea, and the ambitious plans from George West Ltd has shown confidence in Fraserburgh from the fishing interests in the North-east.”