Options for future of Aberdeenshire school under spotlight

Councillors are to consider options for the former Ellon Academy site.

Five options for the future use of a former North-east school site are to be discussed – with proposals including council offices or affordable housing.

Ellon Academy, near Golf Road, closed in 2015 and demolition work is now near completion.

Papers to go before the Formartine area committee reveal several options for the former school site and annexe.

Among the options are Aberdeenshire Council office space, more affordable housing for the area, improving health care in the North-east, building a family centre and to support “Town Centre First”, which will retain services in the town centre by supporting local businesses.

The report by Ritchie Johnson, director of business services at the council, states: “The proposals for the future use of the old academy site and annexe have been progressed utilising a master-planning approach, rather than piecemeal and have involved partner organisations in order to ensure a holistic and co-ordinated approach.

“Furthermore, the proposals are ‘needs-led’ rather than ‘wish-led’ in order to provide maximum benefit and retain a strong sense of realism.

“In addition, time has been taken to ensure that, subject to the development of appropriate business cases, governance arrangements and planning approvals for each separate project, the projects are viable and deliverable and can achieve best value.”

A range of Aberdeenshire Council services and NHS Grampian have expressed an interest in developing the site.

Police Scotland were also consulted, however, they indicated they did not want to participate in the discussions about redeveloping the site.

Councillors will discuss the plans, provide comments on the proposed rationalisation of properties in Ellon and are expected to agree a further business case for the use of the area is taken forward and instruct officers to provide regular updates.

The proposals will be discussed at the Formartine area committee on Tuesday.