Councillors have turned down plans to demolish a derelict Ellon filling station and replace it with flats.
The proposals for the former Craighall site in the town’s South road were opposed by local councillors, residents and the community council.
Regency Oils applied to the Formartine Area Committee on Tuesday to knock down the building and build 16 flats.
The site has become steadily overgrown since the filling station business stopped trading in late 2011 and has been labelled by many in the community as an eyesore.
A total of 20 objections were before the committee voicing, among other issues, concern about parking and the impact on the area.
The developers sought the go-ahead for an amended lay-out and design of 16 flats in a single front facing block with a staggered front building line.
Planning officials had recommended approval of the development, subject to a list of conditions.
In a submission the community council stated: “We firmly believe that the site needs to be developed but the current proposal lacks ambition and in our opinion lacks appropriate design principles for the location.
“A harled block of flats with some painted wood is not the most attractive design
Other new developments in Ellon have exhibited far more aesthetically pleasing outcomes.”
All four Ellon councillors were against the proposals, citing over development and not being suitable as a gateway scheme.
Councillor Richard Thomson said later: “I understand the developer’s desire to maximise the value of the site, but what was proposed was a pretty monolithic set of buildings which was over development of a site really not suitable for a gateway to Ellon.
“Just because we don’t like what’s there just now doesn’t mean we should fall into the trap of thinking that anything that comes along is necessarily better.”
Councillor Gillian Owen said: “This site is one of the gateways to our town and crucially a visitor’s first impression which is why I went against the planners’ recommendations.
“There has been a huge interest in this site and a large number of residents put in objections, all of which I took into account, but the overdevelopment along with the dominating bulk and the traffic issues were my concerns.”
Meanwhile, the committee turned down an application by John Forbes for mixed residential and business use at Rashierieve, Foveran. He was seeking approval in principle for 14 live-work units at the site.