Inverurie slaughterhouse to make way for new homes

Plans to demolish the Scotbeef abattoir in Inverurie to make way for 50 homes have been backed by councillors.
Scotbeef abattoir in InverurieScotbeef abattoir in Inverurie
Scotbeef abattoir in Inverurie

Owners ANM Group applied to Aberdeenshire Council seeking planning permission in principle for the development on North Street.

Offices on the site along with the slaughterhouse, which has been in use for almost 100 years, would be knocked down to make way for the new houses.

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A previous proposal to build 77 homes on the site was given the go-ahead in 2019.

But as work never started on the development, its permission eventually expired.

Last month, protestors from Vegan Outreach Scotland and Aberdeenshire Animal Save gathered outside the facility.

As the site sits just yards from Strathburn School, parents raised concerns they were being “pushy and intimidating” around youngsters.

The latest application was lodged despite ANM Group pausing its plans to build a new abattoir at Thainstone Business Park.

The firm blamed the “unknown impact” of the pandemic and Brexit for the move.

The resubmitted proposal went before the Garioch area committee last Wednesday.

As the plans are still in the early stages, no detailed designs of the development have been submitted.

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Members were asked to approve the plan in principle to allow the next stage to progress.

A statement from the developer revealed the site would have a more broader mix of house types, while flats would not be included.

They argued that homes would be “more marketable” than new apartments.

An emergency access route is expected to be formed from the development on to Old Chapel Road.

But there was a worry some motorists would take advantage of the access point.

Committee chair, councillor Marion Ewenson, believed the new development could become a “parking lot” for parents picking up their children from school.

She added: “We need to be very careful given that we already have issues in that area.”

Councillor Neil Baillie wanted assurance that the access point would only be available for use by emergency vehicles.

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“I don’t want to see it being considered as a rat run between North Street and Old Chapel Road,” he stated.

He was told measures such as narrowing roads or installing bollards could be an option, but this would be included in future plans.

Aberdeenshire Provost and councillor Judy Whyte said she was pleased to see the “appropriate” application come forward.

She believed the reduced number of houses would create a “very attractive development” in the town.

While councillor Ewenson said the site would “fit in well” with existing housing in the area.

She said: “I know this site was there before the housing and the primary school. But it would be a real advantage to that area now if this business was not located in what has become a residential area.”

Committee members went on to unanimously approve the application.

A more detailed proposal for the site is expected to be submitted to the local authority in the near future.