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Homes approved for site of flattened Aberdeen sports centre, Kintore bus depot expansion and new Deeside farm shop

The site of the former Kaimhill Sports Centre is to become new housing. Supplied by Design team, Roddie Reid
The site of the former Kaimhill Sports Centre is to become new housing. Supplied by Design team, Roddie Reid

Join us for our regular weekly look at some of the latest planning applications lodged with Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire councils.

This week, we feature some proposals for new homes in Aberdeen – with the site of a demolished sports centre soon to host 35 badly needed council houses.

And some tasty plans are being served up on Royal Deeside, as a couple has ambitious plans to turn a steading into a new farm shop showcasing Aberdeenshire’s local larder.

But first, the bell tolled for the final time at this school 60 years ago – and now it could be ringing in some changes.

New lease of life for long-closed school?

The former Gartly Central School, at Bridgend, was closed in 1962 when a new primary opened.

This image from Google Maps shows the old school building with a “for sale” sign outside.

Now, proposals submitted by Inverurie-based Niall Killoh demonstrate how the former teaching spaces would be turned into a large home, with its own gym.

Records online show the building was purchased for £220,000 last October.

Scroll back and forth to see how the old classrooms could be changed: 

Aberdeen luminary doing up garden at grand property

The owner of a stunning Old Aberdeen home is seeking permission to create a new garden house from the remnants of an old porch.

Juliette Paton is the widow of late Grandhome Estate landowner David Paton, the ninth baron of Grandhome.

She is a fundraising champion who amassed more than £1 million for the Children 1st charity through Tartan Ball events.

Juliette Paton at Grandhome House in 1998.
At the Touch of Tartan Ball in 2013: Juliette Paton, Laurence and Jackie Llewelyn-Bowen and Bernard Williams. Picture by Colin Rennie.

She recently took down the entrance at the Grandhome House property – a manor at Stoneywood which the family has owned since 1673.

And Mrs Paton now wants to repurpose it in the garden of the 250-year-old B-listed Dower House at 55 Don Street.

The residence has been in the family for decades and she soon plans to move in, but needs the council’s approval due to its historic importance.

This image submitted to the council shows the Don Street property, with the spires of St Machar’s Cathedral in the background.
Another image accompanying the application shows where the garden house would be erected.

New workshop for Ellon Men’s Shed

The volunteers who run the Men’s Shed charity in Ellon are keen to put a refurbished Portakabin next to the building on Hospital Road.

An image sent to Aberdeenshire Council shows the caravan that the new workshop will replace.

The addition at the former council maintenance building will replace a caravan, which will be towed away, and used as a workshop.

With an enhanced space, the charity can look forward to many more years carrying out good work in Ellon.

Wheels in motion for Kintore coach firm expansion

Managing Director Alan Findlater with two of his new coaches after a £1m investment in 2017. Picture by Kami Thomson

Premier Coaches is looking to expand its base at Hill of Cottown amid growing success for the Kintore company.

Owners Alan and Gemma Findlater took over the firm 10 years ago, when it was “in a poor state” and operating “dilapidated” vehicles.

Since then they have increased the fleet tenfold, now running 52 vehicles and employing 64 people.

The future is bright for the north-east transport firm. Picture by Kami Thomson

Premier Coaches is in talks with local tourism businesses “in anticipation of delivering its own tourism packages for international visitors once Covid-19 travel restrictions relax further”.

That includes talks with Trump International about tour packages designed to keep visitors to the golf course in the local area.

With the “rapid growth”, now including short-term contracts with several well-known oil and gas operators, they need to expand the new depot to cater for 26 vehicles rather than 11.

Plans to boost Turriff population

Developers are taking the first step towards a planned development of 60 homes at Meadowbank in Turriff.

There would be ample green space around the development. Picture by Cala Homes.

Developers say the new housing is “much-needed”, and would provide a “natural expansion of Turriff”.

Visitors could be pigging out on local fare at Crathie farm shop

Helen and Neil Fraser want to turn an old steading at their Balnault Farm into a shop.

The Crathie venue would be just off the A93 Aberdeen to Braemar road and a stone’s throw from the Queen’s royal residence of Balmoral.

The steading at Balnault Farm could be turned into a new farm shop.

Planning papers lodged with Aberdeenshire Council explain the 3,000 acre farm has been in Neil’s family for 75 years.

It is home to 40 suckler cows, two Charolais bulls, 800 breeding ewes and a growing number of rare breed Berkshire pigs.

The pair set up a butchery last year and see the shop as a way to reduce their food miles – and their carbon footprint.

Happy piggles 🐽#rarebreedberkshirepigs

Posted by Balnault farm on Thursday, 13 January 2022

As well as the farm shop selling various local treats, they aim to create a “farm park” close by.

They say: “It is envisaged that the park could include several animal viewing and interactive pens, a children’s play area, a maze, a sensory garden and picnic areas for all to enjoy.”

Should their famous neighbour pop by, she might well be impressed!

Oil industry office to become flats

The plans for the office have now been signed off by the council.

Meanwhile, plans to transform a former offshore office on George Street in Aberdeen into three flats have been given the go-ahead.

The building once home to Rig Engineering at 621-627 will undergo the revamp despite the protests of one neighbour.

Some work has already started on the makeover.

In a letter of objection, Allan Clark said there is already a “woeful” lack of parking in the area and accused Rig Engineering of “disregarding” planning rules by starting work before permission was granted.

Former Kaimhill Sports Centre site to be turned into council housing

The site of the former bowling club as it looks today. Picture by Chris Sumner

Finally, the saga of Garthdee’s Kaimhill Sports Centre site has come to an end with planning bosses approving plans for 35 council homes there.

The bowling club and tennis courts were deemed “surplus to requirements” and closed in 2016.

Over the following years, the bowls building was frequently vandalised. It came as a relief to residents when the eyesore was knocked down at the end of 2019.

These design images show the layout of the new development.

Kaimhill Sports Centre homes come at a time of great need

Work will soon begin on creating dozens of council houses at the site, with the approval of ambitious blueprints.

The Ramsay Gardens development will be a mixture of three and four-bedroom semi-detached houses, and three and four-bedroom bungalows.

The application lodged by Aberdeen City Council says the family homes will help address “waiting list demands”.

It comes amid concerns about the number of council houses currently lying empty in Aberdeen.

This blank canvas will soon become a bustling Garthdee community. Picture by Chris Sumner

You can see the plans for yourself here: 

Gartly school changes here.

Don Street summer house here.

Ellon Men’s Shed here.

Kintore coach firm here.

Turriff homes here.

Deeside farm shop here.

George Street flats here.

Kaimhill housing here.

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