Views to be sought on future use of Canal Park, Banff

Community views are to be sought on the sale of a town centre development site in Banff, following the identification of a preferred purchaser for the land.

The land at Canal Park/Old Market Place was identified for potential retail use last year and marketed for sale by Aberdeenshire Council. A preferred bidder was identified earlier this year. 

As a large portion of the site is designated as ‘common good land', part of the procedure for the proposed sale requires the council to consult with the community about the proposed sale of the land and invite views for consideration.

The consultation will take place early in 2020, with further details to be provided in due course. For the sale to be approved, permission would then need to be sought from Banff Sherriff Court in line with Common Good requirements.

Should permission be granted, any development would be subject to planning permission and all other necessary consents being secured.

In the meantime, initial site investigations are being conducted on behalf of the preferred bidder, with engineers taking soil samples, at no cost to Aberdeenshire Council. All service users have been advised and alternative venues have been identified.

Banff & Buchan Area Manager Angela Keith said: “It’s important to stress that the site investigations are not the start of any building works on site, and the identification of a preferred bidder does not pre-empt the outcome of the community consultation. 

“We need to gather the public’s views on the potential sale of the land before any final decisions are made, and we will be sharing information on how people can get involved at the start of the year.”