Conservation bosses have been accused of “interference” by city council leaders after moving to grant listed building status to eight city high-rises.
It comes after a request was made to Historic Environment Scotland (HES) last year asking them to consider the listing of Seamount Court, Virginia Court, Marischal Court, Thistle Court, Hutcheon Court, Greig Court, Gilcomstoun Land and Porthill Court.
The public body said the buildings are among the most “architecturally distinguished” groups of brutalist flats in Scotland but council leaders say the move could see the local authority facing increasing costs – to be met by spending money from the council’s housing account, to the detriment of tenants.
Douglas Lumsden, Aberdeen City Council co-leader, said: “If the repairs are much more expensive on these buildings going forward then it could be that improvements don’t take place or rents have to increase.
“From my point of view I think it’s a strange decision that HES are looking to do this and I think a lot of people will be mystified at their interference.”
Council bosses met with the conservation body on Friday to discuss the proposal but were convinced they had “already made up their mind” to go forward, Mr Lumsden claimed.
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Meanwhile, council co-leader Jenny Laing said they also raised the issue of safety upgrades with HES, which may be required to the buildings once the ongoing Grenfell Tower inquiry has concluded.
Newly appointed SNP group leader Alex Nicoll said he was “content” to object to the proposal, adding: “The worst thing we could do is not have any comment going forward.”
The tower blocks would stand alongside the city’s Marischal College, King’s College and the Music Hall if granted the top listed building category, meaning they are buildings of national or international importance.
The public has been consulted on the proposals over the last few months but this is due to close tomorrow, with a decision to be made thereafter.
Professor Miles Glendinning, director of the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies – who lodged the request – previously said listed buildings tend to be better maintained than an average non-listed building.
A spokeswoman for HES said: “We have been engaging with local stakeholders throughout the consultation process, and will be carefully considering all the feedback we have received before making a decision after the consultation closes on January 24.”