Against our best efforts and beliefs, the central barns at Ardgrain may soon be developed into a large and imposing house, totally and irreversibly changing the character and setting of this Grade A listed site, which has stood since 1629.
We hope these planning pages can offer help and guidance to others facing a similar situation.
Numerous public objections were submitted to the Aberdeenshire council planning department opposing the residential development of Ardgrain, including letters from MP's and MSP's. Many are understandably not impressed that an ancient and nationally important site is being plundered and turned into a residential cul-de-sac. The development comes with a hefty environmental cost too. Homes of both the local Barn Owl and bat population will be lost if the conversion goes ahead - both of which are endangered and protected species.
At Ardgrain we submitted a formal offer to purchase the remaining Ardgrain buildings and restore these, as was documented extensively by the media. This offer was rejected by the buildings owner.
To show that alternatives to residential development exist, we submitted alternative plans, to restore and repair the barns for the benefit of future generations. This restoration plan was granted by Historic Scotland and received Aberdeenshire Council approval in September 2007. Restoration looks unlikely to happen though, given the approval of the residential development planning application.
In protecting Ardgrain we noticed that very little planning information exists on-line which is directly relevant to listed or historic sites. The Ardgrain planning pages are a collection of our experiences as we learned more about the planning process. The Ardgrain planning pages hopefully offer a basic template or pointers which you might use in objecting to a planning application at a listed or historic site.Please note: The information provided on these pages is based solely on our own experiences, and does not replace professional advice. Whilst we hope you find our planning information very beneficial, we also strongly suggest you consult experts and professionals who can guide you in your case for the preservation of a listed site.