Councillors have deferred a long-awaited decision on controversial plans for a site on the outskirts of Ellon.
They have decided to visit the disused Craighall filling station on South Road where fresh plans have been put forward for a development of flats.
The elected members took the view that the submission was lacking in respect of certain informationCllr Rob Merson Formartine Area Committee Chair
The derelict former garage has been labelled an “eyesore” on the approach to the town.
Regency Oils, which had an application for two blocks of eight flats turned down last year, has tabled fresh proposals for the demolition of the filling station and construction of 16 two-bedroom flats with parking and landscaping.
Formartine Area Committee discussed the new plans on Tuesday with a recommendation by officials to approve them.
However, more than 30 objections, among them Ellon Community Council, were considered with concerns including road safety and overall design.
It has been established that there is contamination on the site as a result of its former use as a petrol station.
In a report before councillors, director of infrastructure services Stephen Archer said: “While a block of flats might appear to be an inappropriate form of development on this site, it must be acknowledged that the nature of its previous use as a petrol station is such that there is a continuing risk of contamination should nothing be done on the site.
“ The development of flats provides the best opportunity to achieve suitable mitigation to remove any contamination which exists. That said, while the principle of flats on the site may be acceptable, the layout and design must also be of a suitable standard.
“The amended layout provides a suitable balance between the amenity of the occupiers of the flats and the neighbouring properties.”
Formartine Area Committee chair, Councillor Rob Merson, explained the committee’s decision: “The paper which came before the Formartine Area Committee raised a number of questions and further clarification was sought regarding both the application, and the content of the report.
“The elected members took the view that the submission was lacking in respect of certain information, and that the elevations and plans provided perhaps did not fully convey the full extent of the impact which the development would have on the streetscape and neighbouring properties.
“Among other things, the members have sought further information regarding the access arrangements, site levels, the extent and method of rock extraction for the proposed excavation works, and potential impact on protected species which have been identified in the area.”