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New ‘Hobbit huts’ near Dyce, plans for gym at Aberdeen beach, Peterhead police station revamp and Banff bakery to become tattoo parlour

This week's Planning Ahead round-up features some proposals reminiscent of Lord of the Rings... Image supplied by Michael McCosh, Design Team
This week's Planning Ahead round-up features some proposals reminiscent of Lord of the Rings... Image supplied by Michael McCosh, Design Team

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

This week, we have an interesting development in “The Shire” sure to please Lord of the Rings fans.

A proposal has been put forward to create Aberdeenshire “Hobbit huts” on land at Kingseat, which developers envision as “luxury glamping” accommodation.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen fitness fans could soon have a new gym to visit near the seafront and the former Peterhead police station could have a new lease of life.

First though, a new pizzeria is facing a spat with one neighbour over its illuminated signs…

Let there be light?

The new outlet opened at the end of January.

Aberdeen’s Big Manny’s Pizza opened its first dedicated venue in the city last month, having developed quite a following while serving up its famously huge slices from a pub.

The new shop, on the corner of Pittodrie Street and Ardarroch Road, is already proving a hit.

How the pizza parlour faces onto houses on the opposite street.

But permission was not sought in advance for its illuminated signage, so they are only now asking Aberdeen City Council for its blessing.

One nearby resident is a bit crusty about the situation and is asking the authority to reject Big Manny’s application.

He says the beaming signage causes him bother by “lighting up directly into his lounge”.

Depending on the ruling of planning chiefs, the lights may soon be dimmed at Big Manny’s Pzza.

Vet wants to take over home next door

A veterinary practice in New Deer has formed plans to expand into the house next door.

Director of Meadows Vets, Ewan Jamieson, wants to knock through the wall separating 54 and 52 Main Street in the village.

This image from Google Maps shows the Meadows Veterinary Centre and the neighbouring premises it wants to take over.

The ground floor of 52 would then be used as storage space and a kitchen for the animal hospital.

The property could also be “used for occasional staff accommodation while on call or during adverse weather”.

Peterhead police station’s new lease of life

The old Peterhead police station could become new offices in the centre of the Blue Toon.

The force’s former home on Merchant Street was built in 1920 and shut in the summer of 2020.

The Police Scotland, police station at Merchant Street, Peterhead. Picture by Kami Thomson

Fife-based Forget Me Not Properties is behind the revamp plans.

They say that little renovation would be required as the “layout lends itself well
to the proposed office use”.

The building here in May 2020, just months before officers relocated to the new Buchan House complex alongside Aberdeenshire Council. Picture by Darrell Benns.

New coffee shop to give Turriff town centre a shot in the arm

Meanwhile, north-east coffee company Symposium has been brewing plans for a Turriff venue for some time

And now the independent business has officially lodged plans for the new outlet in the former RS McColls on the town’s High Street.

Co-owner Paul Haggath, working in Symposium coffee.

Blueprints show how the former shop would be altered, with seating areas around a servery in the middle of the floor.

The first Symposium opened in Peterhead in 2005, and there are now 10 across the north-east.


We’re so excited to reveal our newest location, coming Spring 2022 🤩

Posted by SYMPOSIUM coffee house on Sunday, 23 January 2022

New gym near Aberdeen beach?

A new gym could soon be opening near the Aberdeen seafront.

There has been a gap in the city’s fitness market since the closure of DW Sports at the Beach Boulevard retail park during the pandemic.

There would be plenty space inside the old warehouse for fitness equipment.

Now, just yards away on Cotton Street, proposals have been put forward for a new facility.

Derek Young, from Westhill, wants to transform an old unit on the street previously used by IWS (Industrial and Welding Supplies).

The building on Cotton Street has been on the market for a while.

Gibb Tools hammering out a deal for new home

Another abandoned commercial premises in the Granite City could be in line for changes too.

Gibb Tools, a specialist supplier for north-east retail and offshore businesses, has vacated its long-term home on King Street.

Signs on the King Street building advise that the firm has moved out.

The company has now lodged plans to transform an old unit in Bridge of Don into its new home.

Documents submitted to the council outline plans to extend and refurbish the building on Tern Place to use as an office and warehouse.

Banff tattooist could ink agreement on new shop

The former Granny Bakes store in Banff could soon be occupied again after closing nearly four years ago.

Owner Angela Wiseman closed the Strait Path bakery over a row about renovations at the nearby Tolbooth Hotel, which she said ruined trade.

The shop at the foot of Strait Path has been vacant for years.

Barbara Begun, a local tattooist who runs the Bespoke in Banff business, now wants to convert the empty space into her own shop.

The entrepreneur describes herself as “an experienced tattoo artist with 20 years of work” who is “looking forward to working in this beautiful corner of the world”.

How would you like to holiday in Aberdeenshire ‘Hobbit huts’?

Design images conjured up by Glampitect show how the new glamping site could look.

Visitors to Whitecairns might soon find themselves thinking they have taken a wrong turn and ended up in Middle Earth…

Landowner Gavin Drummond wants to create a glamping site at Harsetone Moss that looks like something from the realms of fantasy.

Guests could also stay in a converted grain silo alongside the Aberdeenshire ‘Hobbit huts’.

The ambitious plans for the land at Parkseat include two underground “Hobbit huts”, four above-ground huts with grass roofs and two converted grain silo pods.

There will also be a treehouse for guests with a shared sauna, and each of the places to stay will have their own hot tub.

Another view of the proposed development. You wouldn’t be surprised if Bilbo Baggins popped out to say hello.

Papers submitted to Aberdeenshire Council state: “Harestone Moss will provide unique, purpose-built tourist accommodation set in beautiful countryside, surrounded by nature and wildlife.

“There is a lack of accommodation in the area that allows guests to relax in a rural, natural environment and recharge.

“The site would aid in driving tourism in Aberdeenshire, which would help businesses after the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Another example of the unique accommodation that would be on offer at the Aberdeenshire ‘Hobbit huts’ site.
This map submitted to the council shows how the site would be nestled in the countryside.

Medical moves approved

Finally, developments designed to help the health of residents in Braemar and Fraserburgh have been approved by Aberdeenshire Council.

NHS Grampian wants to relocate services to the nearby Highland Games park when Braemar Health Centre undergoes improvements. Design by Mhorvan Park. Health Centre image courtesy of Google Maps.
NHS Grampian will relocate services to the nearby Highland Games park when Braemar Health Centre undergoes improvements. Design by Mhorvan Park. Health Centre image courtesy of Google Maps.

The local authority has endorsed plans for Braemar Health Centre to temporarily relocate to a unit at the village’s famous Highland Games arena while £500,000 improvements take place at the building.

And permission has been granted for changes at Dalrymple Hall in Fraserburgh, as health bosses plan to turn it into a vaccination centre.

Changes will be made to ensure the entrance to Dalrymple Hall is more accessible. Picture by Jim Irvine

An access ramp and handrail will now be put up at the entrance as work on the transformation begins.

You can read our full story on the proposal here.

Inspect, support or object to the plans using the below links:

Big Manny’s Pizza lighting here.

New Deer vet plans here.

Peterhead police station here.

Symposium in Turriff here.

New Aberdeen gym here.

Gibb Group warehouse here.

Banff tattoo parlour here.

Aberdeenshire “Hobbit huts” here.

Braemar Health Centre here and Dalrymple Hall here.

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