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Bid to keep Deeside Way coffee hut, Braemar Hotel’s ‘masterplan’ vision and new Peterhead gym

Proposals to make this Cults coffee hut permanent feature in our latest Planning Ahead round-up.

Join us for a look at the latest planning news from Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils.

This time our weekly Monday morning feature covers a hotel’s “masterplan” vision to add a new cafe and shop, a new Peterhead gym and a request to prolong the lifetime of a popular coffee hut that popped up outside Aberdeen during lockdown.

Crathie resident’s royal request

A neighbour of the Queen has had to seek the permission of the Balmoral Estate before making changes to their home at Crathie.

Alan Cassie wants to build a replacement porch, a new car port and a log cabin at Cairnaquheen Cottage.

Balmoral Estate has to give its blessing to developments nearby.

Planning rules state that the nearest neighbours should be made aware of any such work, and in this case that means seeking the royal seal of approval.

Balmoral Estate has since confirmed it has no objection.

Aberdeen laundrette to become solicitors office

A building in Aberdeen’s west end will be swapping dry-cleaned briefs for legal briefs under new plans.

The spot on Great Western Road could soon be changed. Image from Google Maps.

The spot at 537 Great Western Road, across from Mannofield Parish Church, had been used as the Fresh n’ Clean laundry business.

Solicitors Direct, which already has an office on the street, has put forward plans to transform it.

Rugby club adapting in face of coronavirus

Aberdeen Wanderers Rugby Club is keen to create more space for its youth players.

Meanwhile, at nearby Hazlehead, Aberdeen Wanderers Rugby Club’s “urgent” plans for new changing rooms and shower facilities have been approved.

The side says that “more separated/distanced” units are required to keep its youth players safe from Covid.

There may not be much room to move here, but the players will at least soon have some added space off the pitch. Image supplied by Aberdeen Wanderers.

Aberdeen Wanderers will now convert three large containers, currently used for storage, into an L-shaped block next to the clubhouse on Groats Road.

This sketch lodged alongside the proposal shows how the units will be positioned. However, the council has said the containers can only remain in place for five years…

Planning bosses want them “timeously removed in the interests of
the visual amenities of the area”.

First step towards creating new shop and cafe at Royal Deeside hotel

The Invercauld Arms, Braemar, pictured last year. Picture by Kami Thomson

Bosses at the C-listed Invercauld Arms in Braemar are taking the first steps towards creating a new cafe and shop at the Deeside resort.

To clear the way for this, they have been given permission to knock down a crumbling lean-to building attached to an old dairy at the site.

Crathie-based Moxon Architects say it is part of an “Invercauld Arms Masterplan”.

Our images show the dilapidated state of the old dairy, with the roofless lean-to attached:

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The old dairy is at the far end of the site in this aerial image submitted alongside the plans: 

Planning papers say that hotel chiefs want to create a “quality tourist attraction” there.

With the lean-to demolished, they will begin work on refurbishing the “dilapidated” dairy which dates back to the site’s farming past.

Picture by Paul Glendell

Documents state: “It is proposed after demolition and restoration the dairy will serve as an on site retail unit and cafe for both hotel and local patrons.

“The retail unit will include for retail opportunities showcasing Scottish talent as well as an ice-cream shop, florist and cafe.”

Old bakery to become new Peterhead gym

A visit to Ray Allan’s on Ugie Road in Peterhead would never previously have been considered good for your health if you were heading for a hot pie or a sticky bun.

But now, new plans to transform the building will ensure it’s just the thing for fitness fans in the Blue Toon.

The old Ray Allan’s has been empty for a while. Image from Google Maps.

An application has been lodged with Aberdeenshire Council seeking to change the use of the premises to a members-only gym.

The building in Buchanhaven was put on the market recently at an asking price of £70,000.

Blueprints show how the building could look with the new NB Fitness logo above the door.

Personal trainer Nicola Buchan is behind the plans.

Nicola owns NB Fitness and competed in Britain’s Strongest Woman competition in September.

Nicola Buchan, photographed here in 2018 as she was preparing to run from the Blue Toon to Aberdeen, wants to open the new Peterhead gym. Picture by Jim Irvine.

Villagers’ dismay as Sauchen homes are approved

Earlier this week, councillors rubber-stamped plans for a new development of 43 homes at Sauchen.

The local community council had raised concerns about the potential for flooding and anticipated traffic troubles, but those were swept aside. 

Bridge of Don petrol station to be torn down and rebuilt

Meanwhile, plans to demolish and replace a busy petrol station on the outskirts of Aberdeen have been unveiled.

Motor Fuel Limited wants to build a new “enhanced” modern forecourt shop on the site of the existing Gordon Filling Station on Ellon Road, Bridge of Don.

Picture from Google Maps.

A new disabled parking bay and three electric vehicle charging points have been included as part of the proposals.

Bid to keep Cults ‘coffee car’ in place for longer

Now from one form of re-fuelling to another…

Scores of Aberdonians came to embrace the Deeside Way during lockdown, the former railway line that takes residents from Duthie Park into the countryside.

Soon enough, enterprising businessman John Mackenzie sprung up with an idea to make sure they didn’t go thirsty.

He and his wife Julie bought the old Cults station and some adjoining derelict space for the venture.

John Mackenzie outside the old railway station. Picture by Chris Sumner

But the first stage was opening up the “boxcar” venue last summer – an old shipping container converted to dish up hot drinks and fancy pieces.

Aurora Planning, on behalf of Mr Mackenzie, has now lodged an application seeking permission to keep the kiosk.

Because it is a “moveable structure”, he thought there was no need for the council’s approval when it opened last July.

Manager Ian Anderson serving up some coffee last summer. Picture by Kenny Elrick

Aurora says the kiosk has been a “popular offering among walkers and cyclists using the
Deeside Way” while “addressing the ongoing need for Covid-secure places for people to meet and socialise”.

The local authority is now being asked to endorse plans to keep it there for another 18 months while work continues on the old Cults station building.

Use our links below to see each planning application:

Royal blessing for Crathie home improvements here.

Aberdeen laundrette plans here.

Rugby club’s Covid-safe changing rooms here.

Invercauld Arms expansion here.

Peterhead gym here.

Sauchen homes here.

Bridge of Don petrol station here.

Cults coffee hut here.

Check back every Monday morning for the latest round-up!

Spotted any plans you think we should know about? Get in touch at