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Castle’s broadband boost, Aberdeen artisan bakery plans and Ballater seafood spot approved – despite pong fears

New plans lie in store for this old office in Aberdeen, and Craigievar Castle is hoping to improve its broadband. Design image by Chris Donnan/DCT Media
New plans lie in store for this old office in Aberdeen, and Craigievar Castle is hoping to improve its broadband. Design image by Chris Donnan/DCT Media

Join us as we take a look at some of the latest planning news from across the north-east.

This week, our regular Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire round-up has a bit of a culinary theme.

Plans for a new seafood restaurant in Ballater have been approved even though a neighbour objected about the possible smell.

And proposals have been put forward for an “artisan bakery” between Aberdeen city centre and the beach.

First though, one Granite City restaurant has opened up about just how important its outdoor decking has been…

Plea to keep outdoor seating area at Aberdeen restaurant

This image, lodged with the plans, shows the decking area outside the Rendezvouis @ Nargile eatery.

The owners of Aberdeen’s Rendezvous @ Nargile say the business “would not have survived” the pandemic if not for its outdoor seating on Forest Avenue.

The decking, which also provides wheelchair access to the restaurant, was installed when bosses had to “act quickly” in the face of Covid rules.

Another view of the decking, which also has a ramp to allow easier access for people in a wheelchair.

They are only now retroactively seeking permission for the addition.

A statement lodged with the council says: “The deck was designed to make the customers feel relaxed and safe during these strange Covid times, ensuring social distancing was able to be maintained.”

Quirky exhibit in need of TLC

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) is keen to carry out badly needed repairs to a musuem of stones in the walled garden of Leith Hall, near Insch.

The hut was built in around 1955.

It displays various agricultural stones to give visitors an insight into how farming used to be done with milling stones, bannock stones and various other pieces.

This picture shows the stone museum attached to a wall in the garden of Leith Hall. Picture submitted to Aberdeenshire Council by National Trust for Scotland

The building is in “a dilapidated condition”, with “extensive fungal and insect decay to the timber”.

Papers lodged by heritage bosses also claim the roof is “in a situation of pending collapse”.

The repairs and upgrades are planned to make the museum a “more immersive experience” with smaller artefacts mounted to walls and lager pieces on the rear shelf.

Craigievar Castle internet improvements

Craigievar Castle is said to have inspired the tower in Disney’s Cinderella. Picture by Kenny Elrick

From one historic attraction to another now, as Craigievar Castle looks to boost is broadband capability.

The NTS is seeking permission to install a digital receiver on the castle’s east viewing platform, an area which is used only by staff.

This image lodged with Aberdeenshire Council details where the receiver would be positioned.

They say it will provide “line of sight” internet connection to a dedicated mast, and “support operations” at the landmark.

Under the plans, any Insta-worthy selfies snapped with the famous pink landmark in the background will be uploaded to social media in a flash!

Family home to expand to house three generations

This image of the striking property has been submitted to the council as part of the application.

An abandoned office on the junction of Desswood Place and Whitehall Road in Aberdeen could become part of a family home.

The west end site, built in 1907, has had various uses over the years.

The most recent owner of the office retired last year, selling the space to the owners of the two-storey apartment upstairs.

Another view of the property known as Desswood Corner.

They now want to extend their home by taking on the former workplace, and are asking Aberdeen City Council to approve the change of use.

Planning papers say the changes would mean the building can be home to “three generations of the same family”.

Could another food shop be moving into Aberdeen retail park?

The owners of the unit have applied for permission to lease it as a food shop.

Berryden retail park bosses reckon that turning a vacant unit into a food shop will help convince an operator to take it off their hands.

The former Mothercare closed in January 2020.

The owners believe that changing the planning permission initially granted for the outlet will help to attract interest.

At that time, only the neighbouring site – now Home Bargains – was allowed to sell food in order to protect traders elsewhere.

The vacant unit is between Home Bargains and Currys.

Historic rail bridge needs improvements

Rail bosses are asking Aberdeenshire Council to carry out work on the Marykirk viaduct.

The bridge, which crosses the River North Esk near St Cyrus, dates back to 1849 and is more than 300 yards long.

The timber walkways are currently “unsafe for use” and need replaced, while improvements will also be carried out on handrails.

Approval is being sought from both Aberdeenshire and Angus councils as the boundary line falls in the middle of the viaduct.

Ballater seafood restaurant approved

The Rothesay Rooms. Picture by Kenny Elrick

The Rothesay Rooms restaurant was created by Prince Charles to help Ballater recover from the devastation of Storm Frank.

It relocated in May, and last year plans were lodged to turn the Netherley Place building into a seafood restaurant.

But the proposal by ArtFarm Ltd, which runs the five-star Fife Arms Hotel in Braemar, raised the ire of some neighbours…

The Duke of Rothesay and executive chef Ross Cochrane in the kitchen of the venue.

Among other issues, they were concerned about the take-away element of the business – with the waft of fish suppers drifting into their home…

The letter stated: “Smells resulting from a kitchen with a high standard of cuisine such as the Rothesay Rooms (previously located on the site) were slightly less obtrusive although not without fault on occasion.

“However a seafood establishment offering takeaway facilities (read as fish & chips?) operating on the same site would be far more unsatisfactory I fear.

“We can already smell the odours generated by the existing fish takeaway in the village which is a good few streets away.”

Prince Charles with Robert Lovie, centre, and Rothesay Rooms executive chef Ross Cochrane.

Council planning chiefs rubber-stamped the venture, specifying that an extraction system be employed to ensure any smell does not reach nearby properties.

New Aberdeen artisan bakery planned

The office just off King Street in Aberdeen could be turned into an artisan bakery

Finally, developers are looking to take advantage of Aberdeen City Council plans to improve walking links between the centre and the beach. 

West Coast Estates wants to turn a small office building at 3 East North Street, just off King Street, into an artisan bakery and coffee shop.

They reckon it will be perfect for folk looking to pick up a bite to eat on their way to the seafront.

Traffic heading past the spot, towards the beach.

The identity of the baker is yet to be confirmed, but it follows a string of independent bakeries opening in the city over the past year or so.

Papers lodged with the council state: “It is anticipated that footfall in the general area will increase in future, in line with Aberdeen City Council’s proposals to redevelop the city centre and beachfront.

“The proposed artisan bakery is well position to serve pedestrians who will be drawn into the area.”

The office could soon be a new Aberdeen artisan bakery.

You can see the applications for yourself here:

Aberdeen restaurant’s lifeline decking here.

Stone museum here.

Craigievar Castle here.

Aberdeen office to become part of home here.

Berryden retail park unit here.

Marykirk viaduct here.

Ballater seafood restaurant here.

Aberdeen artisan bakery here.

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