Approval for flats on former Ellon petrol station site

Plans to build flats on an eyesore site on the outskirts of Ellon have finally been given the go-ahead.
The station will be replaced with two blocks of flats.The station will be replaced with two blocks of flats.
The station will be replaced with two blocks of flats.

Buckie-based Regency Oils Ltd have been trying to develop the former petrol station and garage site on Ellon’s South Road for the last decade.

Two previous attempts to build flats on the site were refused in 2013 and 2016.

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However, council planners recommended this third attempt be given the go-ahead.

The firm unveiled plans to demolish the former garage and replace it with two blocks of flats and a storage building featuring bin and cycle facilities.

The development will see 10 two-bedroom and six one-bedroom apartments built on the site.

Meanwhile, 30 car park spaces will be created behind the apartments.

Auto Hygiene Car Wash currently operates its popular business from the South Road site.

It will remain open until building works commence on the site.

The application was first lodged with Aberdeenshire Council back in 2020.

It attracted 23 objections and five letters of support from local residents.

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Those opposing to the plan said it would overlook neighbouring properties and raised concerns that the design was not in keeping with its surroundings.

But those in favour of the development said it would help to meet housing requirements in the town.

Ellon Community Council, which has since dissolved, had welcomed the plan.

At the time, members said the South Road site gave a “most unwelcoming and depressing, almost derelict impression of the town”.

But despite the objections, council planners recommended the development be approved.

They branded the site as “unwelcoming and dilapidated” and believed the “acceptable” proposal was a chance to improve the site.

Planners also said the flats would enhance the entrance to Ellon.

The application was considered by members of the Formartine area committee last week.

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Councillor Isobel Davidson urged members to back the plan, saying it was a “reasonable solution to a difficult site”.

However, fellow Ellon councillor Gillian Owen argued for the “overpowering” development to be refused.

She said: “I was on the planning committee for the first two applications and when it went to appeal, I don’t see the changes that others do.

“The layout, siting and design of the new development has superficially changed but not substantially – it’s still three storeys high.”

Cllr Owen also believed the development would erode the character of the area and interfere with neighbouring properties.

After going to a vote, the application was approved by nine to three.