Ambitious plans to redevelop the former open prison site at Noranside should bring major conservation benefits, Angus Council members have heard.
As the Brechin Advertiser went to press yesterday councillors were being given detailed information about the proposals’ effect on the local amenity and environment.
Before the Development Standards Committee were two applications relating to the site at Fern. One concerned the conversion of the prison buildings to provide 41 residential units, including affordable housing; and one was for the conversion of Noranside House, a gardener’s cottage and stable block to provide seven more houses.
The applicant is Mr Martine Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management.
Recommending approval the council’s director of planning and place, Vivien Smith said that the proposals were justified to secure the significant conservation benefits associated with the retention and reuse of listed buildings.
Her words were echoed by the chief architect on the project from Inverurie, Mr William Lippe who said the undertaking would go a long way to preserving and retaining the important listed buildings on the site.
He said that the plans had taken over a year to develop because of conservation and listed building research.
Mrs Smith added that although the proposed was contrary to the plan for the area Scottish Planning Policy was supportive of enabling development where it was required to secure the long-term future of historic assets.
“In this case I have had regard to the information submitted by the applicant in relation to the need for cross-funding to enable retention and restoration of the listed buildings that are of genuine heritage valaue. “In these circumstances I accept that some enabling development is necessary in order to realise the conservation benefits identified by Historic Scotland.”
Mrs Smith added that various technical matters would require the submission of a further application.