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Padel tennis courts for Aberdeen, new life for old railway waiting room and Stonehaven Coastguard station taken over by Seafood Bothy

New Padel tennis courts could be built at Westburn Park in Aberdeen. Supplied by Design team, Michael McCosh
New Padel tennis courts could be built at Westburn Park in Aberdeen. Supplied by Design team, Michael McCosh

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

This week, there are various historic buildings being brought into the modern age.

We cover changes to a railway waiting room that passengers last used in 1951, and an 18th century mill on land formerly owned by comedy great Billy Connolly.

Firstly though, we look at plans to breathe new life into a prominent abandoned building in Aberdeen city centre…

Closed Aberdeen bank could finally have new lease of life

The site at the top end of Union Street has been unoccupied for some time.

The old TSB building at the corner of Holburn Street closed in July 2019, and has now been lying vacant for nearly three years.

Property firm ASPC, which has premises nearby on Chapel Street, has now declared plans to take it over as a sales office.

The firm wants to carry out various works to kit out the inside of the building, and is seeking permission to remove the long-unused ATMs.

Blueprints submitted to Aberdeen City Council show how there would be a public area with touch-screen kiosks to browse properties on the market.

Behind the scenes, two offices and a boardroom also feature in the proposed overhaul.

The windows with these old ATMs would need to be replaced.

Former care centre could be converted into flats

The former care building on Granton Road.

Another transformation has been dreamed up for a property not far away, just off Union Grove on Granton Place.

The council has approved plans to turn the Cornerstone Community Care building into a block of five flats.

It was previously used as supported accommodation providing 24-hour care to adults with learning disabilities.

The building was leased to Cornerstone by Langstane Housing Association before being snapped up by A&C Brown Ltd for redevelopment.

Farmer wants to build shelters for the community

The owners of Aller Croft, near Huntly, want to create three new shelters on their farm.

The shelters would be for local community groups to rent out during the day.

They would provide “basic weather protection” along with a place to gather and leave their belongings before embarking on outdoor activities.

They are described as “small, non-permanent structures” with one merely a “parachute tarpaulin suspended from trees”.

Verdict in on plans for Banff Court…

Towards the end of last year, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service lodged plans to enhance staff areas at Banff Sheriff Court.

The Low Street building was built between 1868-71 and the revamp was planned to offer office staff a “more enjoyable work environment”.

Banff Sheriff Court, Low Street. Picture by Scott Baxter

Aberdeenshire Council has now approved the scheme.

That’s some good news for hard-working court staff, who will now have more room to enjoy their well-deserved tea breaks!

Fancy living in an 18th century mill once owned by Billy Connolly?

Billy Connolly at the Ballater Highland Games in 2ooo.

A mill at the former Strathdon fish farm will be converted into a new home under freshly sealed plans.

The Mill of Newe is described as “unusually large for this part of Aberdeenshire”.

It has most recently been used as a fish hatchery for the Don District Salmon Fishery Board.

And it’s on the Candacraig Estate, a 14-acre expanse which comedy legend Connolly bought in 1998 and sold in 2014.

The new owners of the estate sold the mill building in 2020, and the buyer now wants to “bring the disused and neglected property back into use” as a house.

Though he is a big fishing fan, whether the Big Yin ever spent time there is, alas, unknown.

Servant kitchen at mansion to become new guest suite

Proposals to alter the 17th century Kingcausie House at Maryculter have been rubber-stamped by Aberdeenshire Council.

Laird Henry Irvine-Fortescue has formed plans to turn the northern wing of the house into guest accommodation – which can be accessed independently, and locked off from the main house.

Kingcausie House, from plans submitted to Aberdeenshire Council.

The ground floor of the wing was previously the servant kitchen for the house but is now a storage area.

Now, work will take place to create a bedroom there, with a bathroom upstairs in what used to be an art studio.

Coastguard station’s foodie future

Divisive plans to transform a former Coastguard station in Stonehaven have been endorsed.

The owners of the Seafood Bothy, a food van on the town’s pier, have been given the go-ahead to turn the building into a base for food storage and preparation.

This image from Google Maps shows the old station on Boatie Row.

Wes and Maria Lewis will use the Cowie hut to make dishes like pasta, quiche and salad – but not for boiling seafood or frying anything.

The seal of approval comes despite nearby residents raising concerns including the potential for a fishy pong to waft from the shelter.

However, others welcomed the return of a fishing related business to the traditional seafaring community.

Maria Lewis at the Seafood Bothy. Picture by Chris Sumner.

Padel tennis coming to Aberdeen?

This is how the new Padel tennis courts in Aberdeen could look.

Sport Aberdeen is serving up ambitious new plans for a Padel tennis centre in Westburn Park.

The two courts would be built next to the grass courts just off Cornhill Road, if approved by Aberdeen City Council.

What is Padel tennis? 

Padel is an increasingly popular form of the sport because it is easier to play and requires less physical strength and technical prowess.

Former British number one Andrew Castle recently predicted Padel could “become a huge global sport”.

It has dominated the sporting landscape in Spain and Argentina for many years and is described as a cross between tennis and squash.

Games are played on a court surrounded by a heavy-duty glass that allows players to hit the ball after it bounces back off the wall.

Historic railway station in line for changes

This picture shows the station in 1951. DCT Media

The final passengers to board a train at Inveramsay Railway Station left the platform in 1951, nearly 100 years after it opened.

The nine-acre site near Inverurie was last put to use as a storage yard when Transport Scotland completed an A96 improvement scheme at Inveramsay Bridge.

Work taking place at the site, when a notorious A96 bottleneck was uncorked.

The dilapidated old waiting room will now be turned into a triple garage under new plans to build a house on the land.

Network Rail was consulted and had no objections, but asked that care be taken in building the house due to the proximity to the railway line.

This image submitted to Aberdeenshire Council shows how the building has fallen on hard times.

Bright future for Newburgh hotel being rejuvenated

Lorna Younge outside the Udny Arms Hotel. Picture by Kath Flannery

Finally, good news for the family who are breathing new life into the Udny Arms hotel in Newburgh.

New manager Lorna Younge’s plans to change parts of the building as she revives it have now been passed by Aberdeenshire Council.

You can learn all about how Lorna and her loved ones, who grew up next to the local institution, are bringing it back into use here.

You can see the plans for yourself using the below links:

Old Aberdeen bank building here.

Granton Place flats here.

Huntly shelters here.

Banff court here.

Candacraig mill here.

Kingcausie house here.

Stonehaven Coastguard Station here.

Aberdeen Padel tennis courts here.

Old railway station waiting room here.

Udny Arms here.