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Plans for north-east’s first Tim Hortons and a McDonald’s at former Aberdeen office site

Tim Hortons could open its first north-east restaurant in Aberdeen.
Tim Hortons could open its first north-east restaurant in Aberdeen.

Plans have been unveiled for two new drive-thrus in the south of Aberdeen – with the potential to bring a world-famous brand to the north-east for the first time.

Proposals have been put forward for a Tim Hortons restaurant and McDonald’s at the site of the former Craigshaw House in Tullos.

If successful, it would be the Canadian coffee chain’s first premises in the north-east.

The brand currently has a growing presence across Scotland but it yet to come north of Fife.

Each unit would offer sit-in, takeaway and drive-thru food and drink, with room for 97 customers in McDonald’s and 85 in Tim Hortons.

Aurora Planning, hired by CTL Estates to steer the project through the planning process, said the restaurants would primarily serve existing businesses in the area, Kincorth and Torry residents and passing trade from motorists on Wellington Road.

The firm is headed by former city council planning chief, Maggie Bochel.

Queues at McDonalds, Bridge of Don, show the popularity of drive-thru restaurant which experts claim is growing in the city.
Queues at McDonalds, Bridge of Don, show the popularity of drive-thru restaurant which experts claim is growing in the city.

It is thought McDonald’s opening would create 65 jobs and Tim Hortons could hire another 40 people.

The Canadian brand, founded by a former NHL ice hockey star, is currently fighting to open in Dundee too.

Office block demolished due to ‘oversupply’ in Aberdeen

Demolition of Craigshaw House began last year after lying empty since the last tenants, Amec, left in 2015.

The owners struggled to find new occupants and elected to demolish the 10-year-old building due to a “significant oversupply” of office space in the city “coupled with a lack of demand”, which made it no longer viable.

Aberdeen City Council is being asked to allow a change from office use to allow the food and drink ventures to move forward.

Tim Hortons could be built on the site of Craigshaw House, Tullos, Aberdeen, which has been demolished.
Craigshaw House, Tullos, Aberdeen has been demolished.

Aurora Planning, in a statement, said: “It is clear that a currently vacant site, with no prospect of being developed for its allocated purpose, is providing no economic benefit to the city.

“Conversely, if the development proposed by way of this application were to be approved, there would clearly be a net economic benefit, both in terms of the direct jobs that would be created within the proposed units, and in terms of supporting the sustainability of the wider business and industrial area.”

Chartered surveyors, AB Robb, estimate there is a five-and-a-half-year supply of office space in Aberdeen.

A letter from managing director Alexander Robb to Ms Bochel is included in the application, which reads: “As a result of the oversupply (of office space), lack of demand and the exorbitant holding costs of particularly vacant rates, buildings such as Craigshaw House are no longer financially viable.

“Nationally there has been an expansion of drive-thru facilities which is obviously driven by demand from the public and recent developments around Aberdeen include Blackburn, Wellington Park, Denmore Road and Abbotswell Road; all of which appear to be busy and serving an alternative market to traditional restaurant and coffee shop operations of the city centre.”

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