Heritage chiefs have softened in their opposition to the housing conversion of the oldest original railway station buildings still standing in Scotland.
The B-listed buildings at Newtyle are approaching 200-years-old and are the subject of a plan for six family homes.
The Commercial Street scheme re-emerged late last year after developers had withdrawn a previous scheme for four three-bedroom family homes.
That proposal drew criticism from statutory bodies and railway buffs over the planned changes to the historic sheds.
Historic Environment Scotland has now said it does not plan to object to the Simco Inverladie Ltd scheme, which is yet to be considered by Angus planning councillors.
In a consultation response, HES said: “Built in the early 1830s as the terminus of the Dundee and Newtyle Railway, the category-B listed former railway station at Newtyle is the oldest station site in Scotland to retain anything of the original building.
“The larger building was the original station, with the smaller structure abutting this added later – probably sometime after 1861 – as a new passenger station.
“The original station was later remodelled as a goods shed.
“In our view this is a greatly improved scheme and we welcome the revisions for this proposed development, which we consider have addressed the comments we made in our previous consultation responses.
“Planning authorities are expected to treat our comments as a material consideration, and this advice should be taken into account in your decision-making.
“Our view is that the proposals do not raise historic environment issues of national significance and therefore we do not object.”
Angus roads officials want footway extension
The body added: “However, our decision not to object should not be taken as our support for the proposals.
“This application should be determined in accordance with national and local policy on listed building/conservation area consent, together with related policy guidance,” added the heritage organisation.
Angus Council’s roads chiefs say they do not oppose the proposal.
But they have suggested conditions which include a 25-metre extension of the footpath on the north-east side of Commercial Street and drainage provision to ensure surface water does not run onto the public road from the site access.
Previous planning approval for offices not progressed
Aberdeenshire Council Archaeological Services, which provides archaeological services for Angus, has also not raised any objection to the revised scheme.
It has, however, requested a full survey of the buildings to ensure a record is made of the historic site.
The Dundee-Newtyle line finally closed in 1955 and the old railway buildings have been the subject of several planning bids down the years.
Those included a 2015 office plan which was never progressed.
The developers say they hope the new scheme will create a ‘micro-community’ in the village.
Angus Council has set a determination date of January 15 for the application.