Local councillors approved an application from Aberdeenshire Council to create six one-bedroomed apartments at the Scalloway Park site.
In a report to members of the local authority’s Banff and Buchan Area Committee, director of infrastructure services Stephen Archer said that the site fell within an area which has been protected for education, recreation and community uses.
But while the proposal is a departure from the 2017 Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan, Mr Archer said: “The proposed development will ultimately provide greater economic and social benefits, in the form of addressing a local housing need, at a minimal environmental cost to the protected area which the application site is found within.”
The former children’s home became vacant following the creation of a replacement facility in the town.
Having undertaken an options appraisal of the building, the council’s property services team deemed that conversion of the existing building into individual dwellings was the most viable option available to them.
Mr Archer continued: “Furthermore, the application seeks to create six affordable units which will be secured as such in perpetuity via a legal agreement.
“The applicants have agreed the required heads of terms and ensures this application complies with Policy H2: Affordable Housing.
“Therefore, on balance, when weighing up the environmental, social and economic factors associated with this proposal it is clear that in this case the provision of affordable housing at a minimal environmental cost meets the aims and principle of the applicable policy.”
One objection was received to the plan on the grounds that a condition of the creation of the new facility would mean the demolition of the existing unit.
A neighbour said: “I object to this application very strongly. The demolition of the building in question was a condition for the planning of another building not so far from it.
“I believe this will set a precedence that a condition involved with in future planning conditions can and will be ignored by the council and members of the public .”
The successful application will also see the removal of an existing flat-roofed oil store and reconfiguration of window and door openings. All access and servicing arrangements which previously served the building are to remain.