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Aberdeen Morrisons to build huge ‘street food market’ take-away extension, Prince Charles’s Deeside peat plans and Fraserburgh’s ‘finest house’ to become home again

Morrisons is planning a game-changing move int hospitality with a new 'market kitchen' in Aberdeen. Supplied by Michael McCosh, design team
Morrisons is planning a game-changing move int hospitality with a new 'market kitchen' in Aberdeen. Supplied by Michael McCosh, design team

Welcome to our weekly round-up of the latest planning applications lodged across the north-east.

Today we can reveal Aberdeen’s Morrisons supermarket is planning a renovation to create a new ‘Market Kitchen’ food court at the front of the store.

While the plans remain at an early stage, some work on the project to bring “street food vibes” to the shop is already underway.

Elsewhere, we feature plans for a new bakery and coffee shop in Aberdeen and we can unveil just how a drive-thru Greggs at Westhill will look.

So let’s tuck in!

Big changes planned at Siberia

Firstly the Siberia bar, restaurant and hotel on Belmont Street is planning to replace guest rooms and dining areas with an extra bar – and three flats.

Siberia on Belmont Street.

Bosses want to convert hotel space at basement level into a new bar, with a terrace facing out onto Denburn Road and space for customers to pick up take-away meals.

Meanwhile, they want to convert office space on the first floor into a big two-bedroom flat, while transforming the hotel restaurant on the second floor into two one-bedroom apartments.

If the plans are approved, the first and second floors could soon be turned into flats.

The first floor is presently divided into six offices with two guest rooms while the second has another two bedrooms and an office – but is largely occupied by the restaurant.

Ever wondered what the hotel rooms at Siberia are like?

Would you like a break in Schoolhill flats?

While Siberia is reducing its accommodation offering, it’s a different story around the corner on Schoolhill…

The Point could soon be offering serviced apartments for short-term stays.

The £20 million The Point was initially approved by the city council as a 340-bed student accommodation development.

But due to a change in planning rules about affordable housing requirements, Dandara was later allowed to sell the flats on the buy-to-rent market too.

The complex has undergone a number of changes as Dandara tries to make the best of it.

Now, owners Dandara are applying for permission to offload some suites as serviced apartments – “for shorter-term tenancies made available to business and leisure visitors”.

And they are also asking for a chance to offer some flats for private rent.

Documents submitted by property firm Ryden explain there would be “strict regulations” to “ensure the property and apartments are professionally managed”.

The Triple Kirks development while it was being built.

Prince forming plans for peat’s sake…

The Delnadamph Estate, part of the vast Royal Deeside countryside, was bought by the Queen for £750,000 in 1978 and gifted to the Duke of Rothesay on his marriage to Diana a few years later.

Charles and Diana on honeymoon at Balmoral. Photo by Reginald Davis/Shutterstock

But the land at Strathdon, just eight miles from Her Majesty’s holiday home, has suffered over the years.

And now the Balmoral Estate has lodged plans to help tackle climate change with a peatland scheme.

The Fèithe Peatland Restoration Project will focus on a 192-hectare bog and heather moorland that is becoming eroded.

This project is the first on Delnadamph Estate with further peatland restoration sites anticipated across the Balmoral landscape.

In November 2020, conservation campaigner Nick Kempe visited Delnadamph and urged the eco-conscious future monarch to do more with it.

He said: “The evidence from my visit shows that it is being managed in a way that is incompatible with the conservation objectives of the National Park.

“It is time that was addressed and one would hope that Prince Charles, given his oft-stated commitment to conservation, would be prepared to do this.

“The public should have a right to expect that royal land is managed in a way that helps to address the global environmental and climate crisis, not make it worse.”

This map provided by Balmoral Estate shows where the work will take place.

EV charging points at Aberdeen University

Now to another, albeit more modest, move to help protect the planet.

Aberdeen University is seeking permission to create electric vehicle charging points at the MacRobert Building and beside the Sir Duncan Rice Library.

The charging point will be installed behind this gate.
The other will be in this space here, just opposite the brutalist William Guild building.

More chances to connect to electric highway

And plans have also been formed to install four EV charging bays at Westhill Shopping Centre.

This image from Google Maps shows where the four bays will be created, just on the corner of the car park.

Gridserve Sustainable Energy has lodged the proposal for the new infrastructure near the entrance to the car park.

Drive-thru Greggs plans on a roll

The new drive-thru Greggs would be close to other popular dining spots outside Westhill. Supplied by Chris Donnan, design team.

As well as helping to save the planet, Westhill residents could also soon be saving a few quid with plans for budget bakery chain Greggs to open a drive-thru there.

It will be one of few in Scotland and the company’s farthest north by some margin.

Yum yum! There will be a variety of treats to pick up on the move, if the plans are approved.

Since we revealed the plans last month, Greggs has submitted more information to Aberdeenshire Council – including a design image of how it will look:

The drive-thru would be built between a Starbucks and McDonald’s off the A944.

‘The finest house in Fraserburgh’

The grand shoreline house known as World’s End was once described as “the finest house in Fraserburgh”.

The B-listed Dalrymple Street landmark was built in 1767 and once belonged to the Gordons of Glenbuchat.

World’s End, on Dalrymple Street. Image from Google Maps.

And in another historic link, Alexander Forbes, 4th Lord Forbes of Pitsligo, hid here after the Battle of Culloden.

But it fell into decay over the years, becoming condemned by the 1930s.

This clipping from the P&J in 1938 indicates the house was in bad repair by then.

It was used as offices in recent decades, but property agents Shepherd put it on the rental market in 2016.

Explore the building in this video released before World’s End went up for auction last year

Now a Mr I Bird is applying to turn it into a five-bedroom townhouse with a snug in the basement.

As for why it’s called World’s End…

In 1940 the Press and Journal suggested it was because “it stood at the south end of Fraserburgh on the road to Peterhead”.

The paper added: “All self-respecting Fraserburgh people would naturally feel that the last house in their community towards that airt was the end of the world”.

‘Back to basics’ campsite

Aberdeenshire Council has rubber-stamped plans for a “back to basics” campsite with 32 pitches at Cornhill, outside Banff.

Landowner Stephen Chalmers has run the four-acre site on a 56-day trial basis before and has now been given permission to open from April to September.

These are the views campers at the spot near Portsoy can enjoy.

Each of the pitches is only 7m x 12m, and Mr Chalmers submitted some glowing reviews in his application.

One happy camper praised the “lovely corner of the country, night skies and daytime views” while another said it was “safe to let small kids run about wild”.

The scheme was approved by the Banff and Buchan area committee and you can see the discussion here:

Aboyne holiday lets approved

New holiday chalets will be built on farmland near Aboyne.

But if Deeside is more your cup of tea, plans for three-holiday lets near Aboyne have been granted too.

Wreaton Farm Ltd lodged the proposal, which also includes a staff “bothy”, and a small solar farm will help power it.

The small units will be open plan, with a shower, living room area and bed.

A drawing of how the units will look.

Struggling guesthouse needs to open cafe to survive

In Dyce, the owners of the Granville Guesthouse want to ensure the survival of their business by turning their ground-floor dining room into a cafe serving the community.

The project would involve building a porch extension at the Victoria Street property and installing a flue for a pizza oven.

The nine-bedroom guesthouse opened in 1996 but has fallen on hard times.

Dyce has suffered since the downturn.

On behalf of applicant Saad Salamat, Aurora planning consultants outline the dire need for the change.

They say business has suffered due to the “combined impacts of the pandemic, the fall in the oil price on the economy of Aberdeen and the resultant reduction in demand for visitor accommodation”.

They add bed and breakfast establishments in the Dyce area have been “particularly hard hit given their reliance on oil sector workers”.

Do you have any thoughts on this week’s applications? Let us know in our comments section below

Bakery on way to Aberdeen beach approved

The bakery will open on East North Street, just off King Street.

Just as plans to revitalise Aberdeen Beach were progressed days ago, a proposal for an “artisan” bakery to capitalise on the expected popularity of the seaside was approved.

West Coast Estates will turn a small office building at 3 East North Street, just off King Street, into the new outlet.

They believe the location is perfect to make the most of enhanced pedestrian routes between the city centre and the sands.

The former office will now be converted.

Five objections were received, mainly to do with noise and smells affecting nearby residents.

But 15 people wrote to Aberdeen City Council in support, saying it would create a new opportunity for a local business.

The unit could be popular with people picking up picnic supplies for the beach.

Aberdeen Morrisons to become part take-away with new ‘Market Kitchen’ makeover

Nearby, work is under way on a package of improvements to turn Aberdeen’s Morrisons into part supermarket… and part fresh food take-away.

Some work on relocating other services to make way for the Market Kitchen has begun.

The 1990-built store has been given permission for a series of alterations to make way for a new ‘Market Kitchen’ to be created where the Timpsons and pharmacy are behind the tills at present.

Under the plans, the garden centre at the front of the shop will be shifted too, with Timpsons moving to a unit outside the entrance and the ATM going around the other side of the building.

An extension will be built here to accommodate the Aberdeen Morrions ‘Market Kitchen’

What will the ‘Market Kitchen’ at Aberdeen Morrisons be like?

The required ‘Market Kitchen’ extension will be built beside the footpath leading from King Street to the entrance.

Under the plans, breakfast, lunch and dinner options will be freshly-prepared by a team of chefs – ready to pick up when popping in to do some shopping.

But there will be space set aside especially for Deliveroo drivers to park their motorbikes and bicycles so they can bring take-aways to people’s doors too.

Although Morrisons told us it was too early to say what it will sell, Market Kitchens elsewhere offer everything from freshly roasted chicken to paellas, risottos and vegan soups.

There are also curry dishes, fresh pasta and Pizza By The Metre – where people can buy a full metre of doughy goodness for a tenner.

Watch and learn more about the Market Kitchen concept:

The supermarket giant describes it as “making the move from retail to hospitality”, with a “real street food vibe”.

Currently, there is only a handful of them in the UK, all in England.

A spokeswoman told us: “The new ‘Market Kitchen’ section will be coming to Morrisons on King Street in Aberdeen in early 2023.

“It means that customers will be able to have their breakfast, lunch or evening meal freshly made-to-order by one of our skilled chefs in-store – or they can opt to pick up some of the freshly made ‘ready-to-go’ meals instead.”

This diagram shows where current facilities will be relocated to, and where the Market Kitchen extension will be added to the Aberdeen Morrisons.
A closer look at the extension planned for the major redevelopment.

You can see the plans for yourself using these links:

Siberia flats

The Point seeks changes

Prince’s peat plans

Aberdeen University EV charging

Westhill EV bays

Greggs drive-thru

World’s End in Fraserburgh

Cornhill campsite

Aboyne holiday lets 

Dyce guesthouse

Aberdeen artisan bakery

Aberdeen Morrisons ‘Market Kitchen’ and associated alterations