FOI Request - Properties in Buckie
1. Can you clarify why certain properties in Buckie have been identified for publicly funded improvements by the council? The properties in question, Bank Street, Old Gas Works, McLarens Brae, old lemonade factory are all currently in use therefore they are not derelict and most, according to the land registry, have been bought by new owners in the last year, so presumably bought for a purpose by the new owner. It seems rather strange to highlight these when the council has already used public money to purchase other buildings around the harbour, especially when the council has its own unused buildings within Buckie.
2. One final question - has any elected member been the owner/part owner of any building bought by the council or under consideration by the council?
1. The identification of Brownfield sites is part of our planning process, this was first reported to Committee in March 2002 and the report and appendix can be found on the link below. Identification of the long list of sites was from a variety of sources including Local Development Plan, Buildings at risk register and Scottish Government Vacant and Derelict Land survey.
A further report was submitted to committee in October 2022 (Link below) which presented a shortlist of sites that were worthy of prioritisation for further assessment. This work is intended to identify potential uses and stimulate development, the methodology does not mean that these will be publicly funded improvements, however where there is market failure and development cannot come forward then part of the feasibility work will consider how we can achieve development.
As stated in the report, if any of the sites identified are found at an early stage to not be suitable, which could be because owners have plans in place, then we will simply choose an alternative site on the shortlist for review. The intention is to bring brownfield sites that impact negatively on the community and have poor economic value back into use.
2. Not held. The Council, to the best of its knowledge, has not purchased in the last 20 years any property in Buckie which was owned or part- owned by an elected member, further the Council does not currently have any plans to purchase any property in Buckie which is owned or part owned by an elected member. Information that is not held falls under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 - Information not held.