Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Buchan Area Committee discussed the matter in private when they heard that despite repeated efforts to market the Windmill Street and King Street properties over a lengthy period, the Council had been unable to secure a sale in the private sector either for residential or commercial redevelopment or refurbishment.
The properties once housed the town’s Social Work department before their relocation to Buchan House.
Following discussions and negotiations with several interested parties it has become evident that the viability for the buildings to be commercially developed or refurbished is limited.
Councillors were advised that it currently costs the local authority around £37,000 annually in holding costs for the vacant properties – a figure which is expected to rise as further deterioration in the condition of the buildings occurs.
Councillor Norman Smith, chair of the Buchan Area Committee, said: “Officers advised us that in recent times, particularly over the past five months in light of Covid-19, market sentiment has deteriorated further and they do not predict any improvement in the immediate future.
“Regrettably, given the lack of interest and the ongoing costs to the council, we consider the only viable course of action is to demolish the buildings on site in the expectation that a cleared site will be of greater market appeal and that a purchaser will be identified when general economic and market conditions improve.”