New year, new start for Seaforth?

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An Arbroath businessman is appealing to Angus Council to see sense and give him the chance to transform an eyesore at the gateway to the town.

Valy Ossman of Valmarshi Properties has written to the authority and councillors to relent on their plan for commercial units on the wasteland that was once the Seaforth Hotel until it burned down in August 2006.

Mr Ossman, who recently developed the multi-million pound flats at the Quayside Marina in Arbroath, said: “I know the owners very well and they have asked me to get involved in doing something with the site and so I have written to the councillors, planning officers, everybody.

“The owners do not want to do something commercial which the site has been zoned for and they are likely to sit on it.

“It’s something the town should get involved with or it will stay an eyesore for the indefinite future.”

In his letter to the local authority Mr Ossman wrote: “At the moment I am interested in acquiring the site but the only financial viability scheme will be of 
residential units.

“I appreciate the fact that this may not be in your local plans but sometimes we all have bitter pills to swallow.

“I’ve been investing in Arbroath for decades and despite having businesses across the globe I’ve always looked for projects and opportunities in Arbroath.

“I know I can develop a high end residential development that will transform the site and give Arbroath a spectacular creative structure.”

The land has been owned by Seaforth Investments Ltd., since 2005 and several planning applications have been made by the firm for permission to build flats.

In correspondence with Mr Ossman, Steven L.L. Smith, director of Seaforth Investments Ltd. said: “It seems that the council wish the site to be used for hotel, tourist and leisure purposes only, but unfortunately as we have not been able to source any end users for these classes of use this renders the site commercially unviable.

“We believe very strongly that the only financially feasible use for the site is for a flatted residential development.

“It is a great pity that this important site lies vacant and derelict, but in all the circumstances we have no option but to leave it in our land bank for the next 15/20 years, in the hope that we can eventually be granted residential planning consent.”

He added: “We are conscious that you have carried out successful residential developments in Arbroath and so in the event of our site being awarded residential planning consent any time in the near future, we would be pleased to consider carrying out a joint venture development with 
your company.”