Perth is in line for dozens of new housing association homes after councillors approved plans to transform a former hospital site.
The 72 rented flats will replace Hillside Hospital, off the Dundee Road, which was demolished in 2007.
The five new blocks will be managed by the Dundee-based Hillcrest Housing Association.
They will feature a mixture of 18 one-bedroom, 52 two-bedroom and two three-bedroom flats.
The 72 parking spaces will include eight disabled bays.
It is the latest in a long line of plans for the old Hillside site, including a care home proposed in 2021.
Councillors approved an application from developer First Endeavour LLP this week, despite 20 objections.
Hillside Hospital site conveniently close to Perth city centre
A number of neighbours were invited to address Perth and Kinross Council’s planning and placemaking committee on Wednesday.
They raised concerns over the design of the buildings, parking, traffic congestion and the impact on the Kinnoull Hill Conservation Area.
Long-term Barnhill resident Ailsa Lauchland said she found the provision of affordable housing “admirable”, but she was disappointed by the density and design.
And she questioned whether one parking space for each flat would be sufficient.
Craig Main from Yeoman McAllister Architects said the location, close to the centre of Perth, meant people would likely walk and cycle along the existing riverside path.
And he defended the scheme’s design.
“I think it’s appropriate, I think it’s high quality,” he said.
“Not everything can look like it’s 100 years old. I think we need to move with the times.”
Perth and Kinross Council’s lead officer of transportation and development, Lachlan MacLean, assured residents and councillors that the number of parking spaces actually exceeded national guidelines for affordable housing.
“They’re providing 72 spaces, so six extra spaces over and above what would be required,” he said.
Site has long history
The fate of the former Hillside Hospital site has been unclear since it was closed by the NHS in 1997.
It was flattened shortly after another firm, Lorimer Homes, was granted consent to build five blocks of flats, a nursing home and two blocks of care units.
The site went back on the market after that company went bust.
Other attempts to reuse the land included a failed plan to build a hotel and nursing home in 2001.
The hospital was founded in 1876 to accommodate “incurables” and in 1888 it was used for patients suffering from consumption.