Aberdeen high-rises could become listed buildings

High-rise blocks in Aberdeen could be made listed buildings under new plans revealed by Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

The eight 1960s towers are being considered by the heritage body after the flats were put forward for designation Prof Miles Glendinning, director of the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies.

The towers in question are Gilcomstoun Land, Porthill Court, Seamount Court, Virginia Court, Marischal Court, Thistle Court, Hutcheon Court, and Greig Court.

A spokesman for HES told the BBC: “We have been approached to consider the listing of several high-rise flats in Aberdeen city centre for designation.

“This is currently under consideration and more information will be available when the process is concluded. At present, no decision has been made on this.

“Listing a building recognises that it is of special architectural or historic interest. It means that this special interest will be taken into account in the planning system if changes are proposed to that building.

“Listed buildings frequently need to change and adapt.

“Being listed helps to ensure that what makes that building special can be carefully thought about during that change process.”

If the high rises are listed, they would follow the so-called ‘Banana Flats’ in Leith - made famous by Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting - which were awarded an A-listing two years ago.

But Aberdeen council housing spokeswoman Sandra Macdonald said the jury is still out on whether they should be listed as it harder for the authority to pull down the buildings if necessary in the future.

She told the Press & Journal: “There are benefits and drawbacks of listing and the council is not the only party involved, as many of the properties will now be privately owned.

“I have yet to hear a good argument about the merits of listing them on heritage grounds.

“They are certainly buildings of their time and have served tenants well.

“But whether they are the choice of 21st Century tenants is debatable.”

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