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Kildrummy Inn expansion plans, Aberdeen bank vault ventilation amid radiation fears and end of an era for Aboyne gallery

This week's round-up of north-east planning applications
This week's round-up of north-east planning applications

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

On the menu this week, we have proposals to expand the Kildrummy Inn and car park to create more space for guests.

Meanwhile, a bar and restaurant in Aberdeen is keen to create its own “serving hatch” for take-away treats.

But firstly, we look at plans to create more Aberdeen city centre flats – this time in a neighbourhood that could soon see something of a population boom.

Golden Square offices could be new homes

A former office block in the heart of Aberdeen could become 17 new flats under plans put forward by owners West Coast Estates.

It has been empty since 2014, with a similar application in 2015 failing to materialise.

There were plans to convert the property in 2015.

Under the new scheme, the 1821 townhouse facing Golden Square would be turned into eight one and two-bedroom flats.

Another seven would be formed separately in a 1960s rear extension, with two others at roof level.

The flats complex could bring more people right into the heart of the city.

It comes shortly after plans to transform the nearby Denburn House business premises, overlooking Union Terrace Gardens, into 72 flats were approved.

And proposals to turn the Ruby House office complex yards away into 65 flats have recently been drawn up.

The 6 Golden Square building dates back to 1821, with a 1960s extension at the rear.

Cults maisonette being converted into office

A lawyer in Cults is bucking this current trend, however.

Patricia Gray, of Mackinnons Solicitors, has been given the go-ahead to transform 377 North Deeside Road from a maisonette to a workplace.

The solicitors in Cults. Picture from Google Maps. 

Blueprints lodged with Aberdeen City Council show how a bedroom will become a reception area, and the lounge will be turned into an office.

Banchory activity centre approved

The field will soon become a hive of activity.

Plans for a new children’s activity centre in Banchory, first detailed in Planning Ahead last month, have now been rubber-stamped.

The “Movement Bothy” promotes “free spirit” sports such as skateboarding and parkour.

The new venue, being built from shipping containers, will take shape in a field behind the town’s Tesco.

How the centre will look.

LED advertising board on Holburn Street ruled out

Aberdeen City Council planning chiefs have ruled out plans to build a new LED advertising screen on Holburn Street.

Applicant Lady Penelope Holdings Ltd sought to put an animated hoarding, such as those seen elsewhere in the city, outside the Iceland frozen food store.

How the site looks…

Papers submitted to the council said the brightness “would be controlled remotely” and “reduce during hours of darkness”.

It would have been operated by Clear Channel, who controls similar advertising boards at bus stands in Aberdeen.

And how the LED advertising sign would have looked.

But the planning department didn’t quite light up with joy at the plans.

Officials quashed the scheme, saying it would “have a significant detrimental
impact on the visual amenity of the surrounding area” and could bother residents living nearby.

Plans to ventilate vaults at Aberdeen bank amid radiation fears

Passersby might think they are witnessing a brazen heist attempt when they start seeing people drilling their way into the Royal Bank of Scotland on Union Street.

But they needn’t call 999…

The work, now approved by Aberdeen City Council, will be taking place to make sure staff are safe when working in the archives and “strong rooms” – the secure spaces where money and valuables are stored.

The council has now given permission for work on the listed building.

Recent studies have found the levels of radon, a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer, is “above the acceptable level” in the underground spaces.

Ducts will be created between the basement and the street to ensure a flow of fresh air.

Architects explain: “The proposed ventilation unit simply provides positive pressure
inside the relevant rooms to ensure the radon gas remains outside the room when closed, to prevent build-up.”

Serving hatch to be created at Aberdeen bar

Nearby in the city centre, the owners of the Ninety-Nine Bar and Restaurant are seeking permission to create a serving hatch for take-away orders.

The new addition would be built along Back Wynd, with planning papers confirming it would be for both snacks and drinks.

The serving hatch could add to the “cafe culture” in the Belmont Street area

Blueprints indicate there would be a coffee machine in the street-facing kiosk, along with displays of food.

Kildrummy Inn making plans to welcome more diners

The Kildrummy Inn, near Alford.

The owners of a Donside dining institution are working on plans to bring in more customers.

And Aberdeenshire Council has now approved proposals to extend the car park to accommodate another 37 motors at the Kildrummy Inn.

The area shaded in yellow will be turned into space for more parking.

The car park extension was proposed to help “provide sufficient spaces for the envisaged number of visitors” once the inn is refurbished.

Last September, the local authority endorsed those plans to renovate the building.

The traditional inn is popular with customers from all over the north-east.

At that point, a scheme to alter the drill hall function room, so that it can be used for regular dining, was approved.

A new kitchen and newly formed public toilets were also included in the vision.

The hotel, bar, function room and restaurant were originally a farmhouse with associated stables and outbuildings.

The bar at the historic Kildrummy Inn.

End of an era for Aboyne artist

Finally, we say farewell to a Royal Deeside institution.

Howard Butterworth has been painting glorious Aberdeenshire landscapes for decades, becoming a favourite of the Queen Mother in that time.

In 2006, an oil painting of the River Dee was bought by none other than The Queen – with proceeds going to the River Dee Trust.

His daughter Mary Louise inherited his talent and joined the business.

Howard Butterworth outside the shop in 2012.

For about 20 years, they have been selling their wares from The Butterworth Gallery, opened by daughter Sarah in the old village shop.

But at the start of March, the four-star Visit Scotland attraction closed and sales moved fully online.

And now, Aberdeenshire Council has granted permission to turn the former gallery between Banchory and Aboyne into an extension of the house there.

Artist Mary Butterworth at work in her studio in Aberdeen last September.

You can inspect, support or object to the plans via these links: 

Golden Square flats 

Cults maisonette

Banchory activity centre

Holburn Street advertising

Bank ventilation plans

Bar’s serving hatch 

Kildrummy Inn expansion

Butterworth Gallery