Council is ‘closing the door’ on efforts to save historic Aberdeen school building say community group

Campaigners hoping to save a former Aberdeen school building today said they are committed to having it brought back into community use.

Aberdeen City Council’s finance, policy and resources committee met yesterday to discuss plans to put the old Victoria Road School in Torry on the market.

Councillors had originally been urged to approve plans to see the buildings flattened in December, but this was put on hold for two months after an outcry by campaigners who want more time to discuss future uses for the building.

Future of historic Aberdeen school to be decided next month

David Fryer, a member of the Torry Development Trust which wishes to see the buildings saved and brought back into use, accused the local authority of “closing the door on us”.

During a deputation to members, he said: “We ask for the council to extend the hand of friendship and let Torry Development Trust take the lead to finding alternative uses.

“We asked on December 1 for six months and we’re here after two months and have outlined briefly what we have achieved.

“Give us this opportunity to complete the job we have started.”

Mr Fryer said some of the ideas put forward by the Trust include using the site for affordable housing or for a heritage museum.

SNP councillor Alex Nicoll moved an amendment to delay marketing the site and to give the Trust until June 1 to allow them to develop their proposals further.

But members of the committee narrowly voted nine votes to eight in favour of openly marketing the site.

The motion added the site should be marketed with the aspiration that proposals from interested parties would seek to retain as much of the buildings on the site as possible.

Following the vote, the SNP and Liberal Democrat members of the committee asked for the item to be referred to a meeting of full council in March for a final decision.

 

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Fryer said: “I’m concerned they’re missing out on the opportunity and could let Torry down by what they propose to do.

“There are those there that said why not give them the opportunity with the ask they made on December 1.

“We’re committed to doing what we said we would do and we’ve got at least three potential ideas we’ve got to develop.

“We believe we’ve got the right case and bringing forward the best ideas that will fit in with Torry and it will keep the granite heritage and it will bring good, new uses to those buildings.”

 

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