Aberdeen approves flats plan at Greyfriars House
The demolition of a former office block in Aberdeen in favour of 140 flats moved closer this week with approval in principle agreed by councillors.
Telereal Trillium wants to knock down Greyfriars House in Gallowgate to make way for three buildings between five and seven storeys tall, with two options outlined for the number of flats to be included.
An optimised illustrative scheme shows 115 apartments – 26 studios, 52 one-bedroom, 29 two-bedroom and eight three-bedroom flats. Under the maximised illustrative scheme, the project would consist of 140 units, dominated by 88 studio flats with 48 one-beds and four two-bedroom homes.
Council officers had recommended the planning committee approve the plans in principle, as long as the developer signs up to a legal agreement to meet its conditions. Officers said in a report prepared for the planning committee that the new builds would be “within the same vistas” as the Mitchell Tower at Marischal College, as well as St Margaret’s Episcopal Church, and would not block any “key views to the detriment of the setting”.
Telereal Trillium has already agreed to pay the city nearly £290,000 to expand school, healthcare and transport services with the final total dependent on whether it pursues the 115-flat or 140-flat option.
The council will not seek a contribution towards Aberdeen’s affordable housing stock, as the developer has taken advantage of the city centre waiver brought in to encourage development.
But the firm has agreed to carry out improvements planners claim would have “immediate tangible benefits” to surrounding public land, including the Seamount Steps, which lead down to West North Street.
Sam Rosenkranz, asset manager at Telereal Trillium, said: “Greyfriars House represents a great opportunity to bring this city centre location back to life and reignite its contribution to the local economy. We want to thank the city council and members of the local community that contributed to consultation events for their assistance in moving this important project forward and giving us the ability to unlock the regeneration of this part of Aberdeen.”
Claire Crawford from Savills said: “We are delighted to have assisted Telereal Trillium alongside Richard Slipper Planning Consultants and CDA (Architects) to create a scheme which is marketable and deliverable. The council have allowed flexibility where it is needed in order to encourage the development of high-quality apartments at scale, something the city centre has not seen in many years. We look forward to marketing this opportunity and expect developers to be enticed by the affordable housing waiver, the quality of design and the excellent city centre location.”
Telereal Trillium will still have to gain approval for more detailed plans, not least outlining how many homes it intends to build, before work can begin.
The developer has retained CDA Group Architects to undertake the design project and lead the planning application. Savills has advised on the property’s marketing, having undertaken a 2018 study on city centre living for the city council.