The owners of a north-east castle that inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula have lodged an appeal against its listed building status.
Slains Castle near Cruden Bay, which influenced the famous novel, was given B-listed building status in April this year.
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) had wanted to list the dramatic cliff-top castle beside the North Sea in a bid to help secure its future.
However, the special status has come into question after an appeal was lodged against HES’s decision to the Scottish Government by owners Mountwest 4 Limited.
The New Deer-based firm is asking for a review of the decision for the 16th Century castle, claiming consultations were not conducted with them.
In its appeal, Calum Crighton, acting on behalf of the owners, said: “HES had the opportunity to list the building back in 2003, but clearly did not do so apparently because of an imminent development proposal.
The planning application in relation to that development proposal was not submitted until 2004 and planning consent was not granted until 2007. This could have financial implications.
“We do not think that it is appropriate for New Slains Castle to be designated as a listed building as there is not enough clear evidence of the ‘Special Architectural or Historic Interest’.
“HES clearly agreed with that assessment between 2003 and 2007 and nothing has changed in relation to New Slains Castle since then .”
The Slains Partnership was granted outline planning permission by Aberdeenshire Council in 2007 for holiday flats at the castle spot. However, that planning approval has since expired.
A spokeswoman for HES said: “The castle was listed at category B in April.
“An appeal against the designation has been made to the Division for Planning and Environmental Appeals.”