An investigation has been commissioned into the potential of a demolished Peterhead property being rebuilt.
Aberdeenshire Council wants to know if it is both feasible and financially viable to resurrect the buildings which once sat on the corner of Broad Street and Rose Street.
Demolished in 2009 after becoming unsafe, due to their position in a historically significant streetscape they were dismantled and the granite materials put into council storage at Mintlaw to facilitate reconstruction at a later date.
Owned by Sanctuary Housing, it was a condition of the original demolition consent that the premises be rebuilt within two years, however the site has lain vacant ever since, surrounded by security panelling and prone to littering.
Council officers now wish to know if the properties can be rebuilt using the same granite blocks and at what cost.
Councillor Dianne Beagrie has welcomed the investigation and hopes it will pave the way for the site to be redeveloped.
She said: “This is a prominent site in the Peterhead Conservation Area and it would be a fantastic project to see the premises rebuilt.
“The study will enable us to make an informed decision on the future of the site and what level of funding would have to be generated for the works.
“If the project does proceed, we will then need to identify what purpose the building could serve, but in such a prime site there will be many potential uses.”
Councillors recently committed £75,000 to support a major regeneration of Peterhead’s town centre Conservation Area.
The decision has paved the way for Aberdeenshire Council to “press the button” on a submission of interest to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for a massive cash injection to the port.
The Peterhead Conservation Area covers the historic core of the town and, in particular, its central ‘spine’ running from the Muckle Kirk on Errol Street through to and including Broad Street.
Regeneration executive Nick Brown recently told councillors that the project would focus on two “VIP buildings” in the town centre – the Old Parish Church and Town House – which could both be used for community and cultural uses.
But he said the future application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund would also take in the former Legion premises and the gap site on the corner of Broad Street and Rose Street, together with the wider area of Jamaica Street, Merchant Street and Arbuthnot House.
Committee chair Councillor Norman Smith welcomed the project which he said would bring “huge benefit to the town in the future” and enable people to enjoy the rejuvenated buildings.
Echoing those sentiments, Councillor Dianne Beagrie said it was “very positive for the town and great to see two iconic buildings being developed”.
Ken Duncan, Local Democracy Reporter