The only way is up for Mearns councillors

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A group of Aberdeenshire councillors could soon find themselves going up in the world.

Revised plans for a revamp of the dated local authority building at Viewmount in Stonehaven have been tabled by agents for the council.

And part of the plans would see the existing floor level of the council chamber – which hosts meetings of the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee – raised to provide improved disabled access.

There would also be the creation of a new reception area and meeting room, demolition of an existing extension and replacement with a larger unit, improved toilet facilities and installation of a roof over a central courtyard area and provision of additional accommodation.

Originally a private house built for William Mowat, owner of the former Carron Tan works, Viewmount boasts an underground Cold War nuclear bunker built which was built during the 1980s.

Agents for Aberdeenshire Council,  Halliday Fraser Munro say the internal alterations to the building are vital to provide a “wholesale upgrade” to the building in order to improve its functionality and accessibility – particularly for the areas disabled users.

In a supporting statement the firm commented: “At present Viewmount is suffering from a general lack of maintenance and regular upgrade works.

“Various parts of the public and private areas of the building are beginning to look dated… some of the building’s character and functionality has been lost during various internal alterations and extensions over the years.”

There is currently no provision for access under the Disability Discrimination Act.

The firm states: “The proposed works are intended to improve upon all of these issues wherever possible whilst maintaining the quality and character of the existing listed building.”