Former council buildings in Peterhead could be demolished by Aberdeenshire Council to make way for affordable housing.
The news comes after councillors rejected a revised sale price from a potential developer after many months of negotiation.
Glenugie Business Centre was formerly the Peterhead North School, while the neighbouring later building housed the council’s social work department prior to its relocation in 2016 to the purpose-built Buchan House facility on St Peter Street.
The buildings – initially put on the market at around £450,000 – formed part of a wider portfolio of local authority properties put up for sale in the wake of the move to the new council headquarters.
Arbuthnot House on Broad Street remains one of the larger premises awaiting sale, although last year a local businessman unveiled plans to transform it into a 100-cover restaurant.
Despite lengthy negotiations regarding the Windmill Street premises, a council minute shows that councillors agreed in December to refuse the revised sale price and further recommended that the properties be demolished in part as soon as possible and that careful consideration be given to the council making use of the site, possibly for affordable housing.
They also intimated that they wanted to see as many traditional features being retained as possible and that granite be retained and marketed for resale.
An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said: “We have been successful in finding new owners for the majority of former council properties which have been released for sale in the Peterhead area in recent years.
“Market conditions are a key factor, however, and negotiations can take time to progress – particularly for larger properties, those that require remedial works or where a listed status is in place.
“Options for the future of 53 Windmill Street remain in discussion and we will provide an update once matters are concluded.
“Our aim is to find the best solution for both the council and potential purchasers so that we can find new uses for sites and help keep our towns vibrant.”