A developer has launched a bid to no longer provide affordable homes as part of plans to transform a former office building.
Garioch Development Company has planning permission to convert the vacant Crown House on Crown Street into residential properties.
The building, previously used as an office for council staff, would be converted into 12 flats on the upper levels with two restaurant/cafe units on the ground floor.
But the firm, which has already started to convert the building, has lodged a fresh application to remove the requirement to make a quarter of the properties affordable – either by building three affordable homes or paying a financial contribution to build three elsewhere.
The moves came after a change in policy by Aberdeen City Council in September, which meant affordable housing contributions by developers could be scrapped for the next two years on developments of fewer than 50 homes.
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A statement by Jon Frullani Architect, on behalf of the applicant, claims having to provide affordable homes “significantly reduces the profitability of the development”.
It adds the delivery of the development is impacted by the “increased and unknown costs” associated with the removal of asbestos found within the building and the retention and restoration of cast iron radiators in the property.
The controversial new policy, which will remain in place until December 31 2020, allows companies to save cash and has been designed to encourage more residential developments in the heart of Aberdeen.
But critics of the scheme argue it will put money into the “hands of developers”.
Garioch Development Company was unavailable for comment.