Welcome to our weekly round-up of the latest planning applications lodged with Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire councils.
Planning Ahead offers a sneak glimpse into the proposals that will shape our communities over the coming years… Previewing everything from new city centre restaurants to rural mansions being done up.
This week we have a look at plans for one of the many town centre banks closed in recent times, with a new whisky shop earmarked for Huntly’s former TSB!
And we feature more ambitions to regenerate the heart of Aberdeen by converting old office buildings into flats.
First though, some proposals that could bring a splash of colour to the city’s granite surroundings this summer…
Brolly good idea to brighten streets
To raise awareness of neurodiversity, Aberdeen Inspired is applying for permission to create multi-coloured installations of umbrellas next month.
Under the scheme, the brollies will be suspended over Shiprow and Bon Accord Terrace.
These images submitted to council planners reveal how the streets could look after the eye-catching makeovers.
In a letter to the council, Aberdeen Inspired says the project will “create compelling
reasons for families and individuals to visit the city centre”.
It will shine a light on hidden conditions like ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia,
dyscalculia and Tourette’s syndrome.
Legends sports bar to turn former Jack’s Steakhouse into extra pool hall
Elsewhere in the city centre, an abandoned restaurant could become a sports bar’s second pool hall.
Blueprints submitted by Legends owner Fiona Daniel show how the neighbouring building, the former Jack’s Steakhouse and Grill, would be transformed.
The old restaurant would become space for four new pool tables, with a bar and a seating area.
There will also be two areas for playing darts, one with three lanes and another with four.
Tarlair pool plans APPROVED
And now we can confirm that local authority planning bigwigs have signed off on the major upgrades to the historic building.
Brandishing their rubber stamp, council officers agreed the plans would “would respect the character of the asset”.
The pavilion proposal is just phase one of the Friends of Tarlair’s ambitions for the former “Mecca of the Moray Firth”.
The scheme attracted several letters of support, rekindling nostalgic memories for Forres’s Frank Ritchie.
He said: “Tarlair was such an important part of my childhood when I was growing up in Macduff.
“I am delighted to see that such a beautiful building in such a great location has an opportunity of being preserved and restored.”
Historic feature at Aberdeenshire estate to make a splash once more
Over at Haddo House, a fountain that has been dry for many years could soon burst back into life.
The National Trust for Scotland (NTS), which runs the historic mansion near Methlick, describes the broken water feature as “part of a key vista”.
It was commissioned in 1898, with flower beds arranged around it.
But it has fallen into disrepair in recent years, with patchwork upgrades being carried out every so often.
Now, NTS says: “Due to the frequency of previous repair projects and the loss of original fabric in previous schemes, the Trust are looking to undertake a robust repair project which will safeguard the fountain into the future.”
Good news for visitors keen to create new Instagram stories on visits to the picturesque estate!
Torry school transformation update
Another storied site in line for changes is the former Victoria Road school in Torry.
In 2019, the council approved plans to transform it into a new housing development.
Now, developers have been given permission for a slight tweak to the scheme – creating 14 flats in one block rather than the originally planned nine.
It will increase the overall number of properties there from 50 to 55.
The changes were required after builders discovered the poor condition of that section of the site, and to help make the project “more viable” after costs spiralled.
Unwanted Aberdeen offices to become homes
Meanwhile, a former west end office block has been earmarked for new Aberdeen housing.
The former home of the Hampton creative agency at 11 Victoria Street has been unoccupied for some time.
Aberdeen-based Neil Scullion has now lodged proposals to transform boardrooms into bedrooms by splitting it into two homes…
Shepherds estate agents shared footage of the building in an attempt to find a new taker:
Another Granite Mile block will soon become homes
And nearby at the top end of Union Street, developers are taking a gamble on turning a former Ladbrokes into a new block of five flats.
The scheme, which has been approved by Aberdeen City Council, will see the four-storey 469 Union Street transformed.
The former ground floor bookies, and Headland House office complex, will become one-bedroom flats – each with their own home office.
Gibraltar-based MC Leisure is behind the overhaul, which the planning department said was consistent with the council’s ambitions to get more residents living – and breathing new life into – the stagnant city centre.
It comes after Planning Ahead last week described plans to turn long-abandoned offices above the Molly Malone’s pub into flats, and following a scheme to turn a former commercial premises in Golden Square into 17 apartments.
Ruby House backlash
While many Aberdonians are keen to see new life brought to the city’s many abandoned offices, not everyone is impressed with plans recently formed for Ruby House…
‘Tiny flats’ slammed
Aberdeen Civic Society says the office building “is not at all attractive and has looked out of place in this part of Aberdeen for a long time”.
The group adds: “It is a shame that the owner is not using the opportunity of the change
of use to facilitate an entire re-development of the site and make something better.”
Ruby Place resident Neil McMillan says the “tiny flats” will “change the area for the worse” and Sheila Milne predicted parking problems would become “a dire scenario”.
Huntly TSB could become new whisky shop
Finally, some plans Huntly residents will be keen to raise a glass to…
When the TSB in The Square shut last February, it left a gaping hole in the town centre.
Now, more than a year on, it is surrounded by grey hoarding with a splintered wooden facade where the bank’s blue signs once were.
Malcolm Littler, of DSTW Properties Ltd, has put forward plans to turn the abandoned unit into a new whisky shop – and tasting room.
Blueprints indicate how “display barrels” would be dotted about the floor, with locked cabinets hosting the most expensive malts.
The proposed Whiskies of Scotland building would use the first floor as the tasting room, and the second floor for storage.
While Huntly has been hit especially hard by branch closures in recent years, it’s clear locals are now making the best of a bad situation by turning the abandoned units into new attractions.
Feel like supporting any of the plans, using your right to object… Or do you just fancy a look? Follow these links: