A community leader has spoken of his disappointment after the Scottish Government rejected plans to turn a former school into a facility for local groups.
The Garioch Partnership (TGP) plans to take over the Market Place School site in Inverurie were turned down by Aberdeenshire Council in August.
An appeal was lodged with the Scottish Government in the hope this decision would be overturned. The chairman said he was “saddened” by the decision.
The building has lain empty since October 2017 when pupils transferred to the town’s new Uryside Primary School.
TGP had hoped to turn the old building into a community hub, bringing together existing and new groups through a Community Asset Transfer (CAT).
When asked about an alternative use for the side, Aberdeenshire Council refused to comment.
However, the local authority previously floated an alternative use for the school as part of its ongoing office strategy – turning it into a car park for council staff.
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John Chapman, chairman of TGP said: “The Garioch Partnership would like to assure the community we did all we could to ensure the building would be retained for community use.
“We had hoped that a hearing would have been allowed, as several years of information that was part of the initial submission would have been brought to light and taken into consideration for review.
“We are disappointed and saddened that the Victorian-built Market Place Primary School building will be demolished and lost for the community.
“We remain committed to supporting people in our community and doing all we can to support the growth of the third and community sector in Garioch.”
Garioch Area Manager Margaret-Jane Cardno said: “The decision will help the council to progress its plans to bring public services into the heart of Inverurie.
“We do appreciate the news will be disappointing for TGP and we will continue to work with the group to see if their ambitions can be realised elsewhere in the town.”