WORK has begin to dismantle Hatton's former bakery store as the owners prepare the ground for a major new residential development.
Bakers Murdoch Allan and Sons are set to build 23 new homes at the site on Station Road after planning permission was granted by councillors back in June.
The three warehouse buildings on the site will be sold to other local businesses and must be dismantled piece by piece before work on the housing development can begin. Council planners had recommended the plans for refusal, arguing that the land should be used for employment.
However, planning consultants acting on behalf of Murdoch Allan and Sons won round councillors with their argument that the redevelopment of the site would provide an opportunity for the applicants to reinvest money from the development into the bakery business and would allow it to continue to remain within the village.
They also argued that there had been little interest in developing the site for employment use over the past seven years and further, that a residential development would bring a derelict eyesore at the entrance to the village back into attractive use.
The development will comprise a mix of single storey, and two-storey houses, and will include internal roadways, footpaths and associated amenity and open space. Access to the site will be formed onto Station Road.
The bakery was first established in Hatton in 1888 by Huntly firm Forbes Simmers, which later became part of United Biscuits.
In 2002 Murdoch Allen and Sons took over the bakery from United Biscuits and has continued to be the largest employer in the village.