31 March 2022

Inverurie Town Hall planning applications withdrawn

The applications to redevelop and extend Inverurie Town Hall for use as a new council office have been withdrawn to allow for further development of the proposals.
 
The planning and listed building applications were initially lodged in September 2021, and Aberdeenshire Council has now withdrawn the applications.
 
The three main reasons for withdrawal are:
 
* Planning – there were objections which would, in order to be resolved, require new applications to be made anyway.
* WorkSTYLE – work is well underway to attempt to define how the council will use its office spaces in the years ahead. This is as a result of the global pandemic, but also a change more generally in working style. It was agreed that a new application for Inverurie in future would be aligned with the finalised outcome of WorkSTYLE.
* Community – It was acknowledged that there were a significant number of issues raised by the community with the applications as they stand right now.
 
Meanwhile, council officers have also been asked to draw up a town strategy for Inverurie. This place-planning approach will include future options for office space and will be created alongside the community of Inverurie.

Throughout scoping the place-plan, it is acknowledged that officers will need to consider what works are still required to Inverurie Town Hall in the interest of users, and how those needs can be met. This sits alongside work on the ongoing office space discussions.
 
It was agreed to withdraw the applications and await the outcome of the some of these discussions before deciding how to progress next. This could result in a fresh application, or a new alternative option being put onto the table.
 
Allan Whyte is the Head of Property with Aberdeenshire Council. He said: “Everyone working on this project recognises how important it is to find the right solution. We have taken on-board the comments and concerns from the community, from colleagues and partners, and will take some time to consider the next steps for Inverurie.”
 
Ann Overton is the Garioch Area Manager, tasked with the development of the town strategy for Inverurie. She said: “What we have here is an exciting opportunity. We are in regular conversation with community groups, town hall users, and the community council, as well as having local elected member input. That gives us a great core from which to start developing what we all want to see from Inverurie in the future. I look forward to working with council services and our community partners on what the future might look like.”
 
There are currently no dates attached to either the town strategy project or any future application.