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Banchory guesthouse becoming home, dog groomer turning Westhill vet into ‘salon’ and businessman to use historic doocot in plush property plans

The Lossiebank was a beloved guesthouse in Banchory for decades. Clarke Cooper, design team
The Lossiebank was a beloved guesthouse in Banchory for decades. Clarke Cooper, design team

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

Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are blessed with plenty of picturesque buildings, and this week we are focusing on plans to breathe new life into a few.

There are proposals to turn an “eyesore” farm building outside Huntly into two houses, and for a lavish new home near Newmachar incorporating a historic doocot.

But first, the man behind Jimmy Chung’s is serving up plans for a new chip shop at Aberdeen beach…

Seaside chip shop dream could come true

The chip shop would open along the Esplanade, next to the Turkish Kitchen on the ground floor.

Earlier this year we revealed that the man behind the Jimmy Chung’s Chinese buffet empire was planning a return to Aberdeen beach with a new street food market.

That scheme, in an empty first-floor unit overlooking the sea, has now been approved.

But Chung Wong was told he would need to apply for separate permission for a ground-floor chip shop.

An artists impression of how the new Aberdeen beach food hall upstairs will look. Image supplied by MAC Architects

Speaking to us when he unveiled his major proposals for the site, he said: “I can’t believe a seaside location like this doesn’t have one already, it’s a crime!”

And Mr Wong hinted that he was already in talks with some major local names about operating it.

We were given a look around the site recently, here is the proposed chip shop unit at present.

With the new plans now in place, perhaps that “crime” could soon be a thing of the past.

Plans for flats with ‘zen garden’ in Aberdeen

The garden has become a bit overgrown since the property was vacated.

47 Victoria Street in Aberdeen, the former home of Mackie Ramsay Taylor Architects, was put up for sale earlier this year after the firm moved out.

Developer Lionstone Investments has now submitted plans to turn it into a block of four flats – with its own “zen garden” to relax in nestled among the building.

This design image from Fitzgerald and Associates Architects outlines the proposed ground floor, showing the ‘zen garden’ between two flats.

Banchory guesthouse now a five-bedroom home

Roz and James Holmes ran Lossiebank House on Banchory High Street for almost 40 years, before retiring in 2018 and putting it on the market for £510,000.

Roz Holmes at Lossiebank House. Picture by Kenny Elrick

Over the years, guests arrived from around the world and Dee anglers became repeat visitors every year.

Speaking to us at the time, Mrs Holmes described her plans to sell the period property and build her own house elsewhere.

The garden offers stunning views across Banchory.
The property was a family home before becoming a guesthouse.

But the former estate agent still lives there – and recently applied to Aberdeenshire Council to change the use of the building from a guesthouse to a five-bedroom home.

Officers have now rubber-stamped her application for the 83 High Street building.

Roz Holmes has lived in Lossiebank House for more than 40 years. Picture by Kenny Elrick

‘Eyesore’ barn to become pair of homes

Aberdeenshire Council has approved plans for a barn conversion at South Balnoon Farm near Huntly.

Owner Audrey Ferguson will now divide the “eyesore” barn in two, to form a pair of one-and-a-half storey homes.

This image from Google Maps shows the farm building in line for changes.

Each property will have three bedrooms with an open plan kitchen, living and dining space.

Forms submitted by Ferguson Architecture state: “A previously redundant building will have some life breathed into it, ensuring it does not sit dormant for years to come.”

Braemar Gathering office building to be converted

Another building with some history attached is to become a home in Royal Deeside.

The former home of the Braemar Royal Highland Society – an organisation that has run the famous Braemar Gathering games since 1832 – will now become a two-bedroom house.

You could live in the former office of the Braemar Royal Highland Society. Supplied by Google Maps

We reported on the plans when they were lodged in May, and the local authority has now granted consent for the changes.

Nail salon makeover for former finance office?

The property in question is down the steps.

In Aberdeen, a lower ground floor office building on St Mary’s Place could soon be turned into a new nail salon.

The unit, just off Crown Street, was previously an office for the William A Mackie and Co financial advisors.

Plans for the change have been submitted by a W Fulton.

The unit was previously occupied by a finance firm.

Pool hall expansion approved

Nearby, on Crown Terrace, Legends Sports Bar has been given permission to take over the former Jack’s Steakhouse next door.

This recent image suggests that work is already under way on the change.
How Jack’s Steakhouse used to look, before closing down.

The old restaurant will now 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.

It’s out with the old and in with the new at Legends Sports Bar.

Approving owner Fiona Daniel’s proposal, council planners said the transformation of the abandoned diner would boost “the vitality of this area of the city centre”.

‘Sub-standard’ Stonehaven home to be torn down

A run-down Stonehaven property could be demolished to make way for a modern replacement.

The new owner reckons the former factory, turned into a home 60 years ago, is a sight for sore eyes. Image from Google Maps

21 New Street was sold for £77,000 in 2020, and owner Stephen Roberts is now seeking permission to flatten it to make way for an improved house.

Mr Stephen says the building, originally created as a factory in 1960, is out of place in the traditional area.

Under his vision, the section facing New Street will be replaced with a parking area.

This image from Suller and Clark planning consultants shows the new home that could be built on the site.
And with the old property gone, a new parking area would be created off New Street.

Inverurie Lidl ramps up recycling effort

The Lidl supermarket in Inverurie has formed plans to encourage more recycling.

The store on Oldmeldrum Road has been given the go-ahead to make some changes to clear the way for a deposit return scheme.

The Lidl at Inverurie Retail Park.

Under the project, shoppers will pay 20p extra for drinks in cans and bottles, with the money being claimed back when they return the empty containers for recycling.

Aberdeenshire Council has now given Lidl permission to relocate the trolley bay to make room for the “return point” unit.

P&J reporter Philippa Gerrard using the deposit return machine for bottles and cans at Sainbury’s in Garthdee. Picture by Kami Thomson

Doocot could soar again as entrance to plush house

Panama-based cryptocurrency chief executive Rowan Stone will convert a “derelict and dilapidated” Newmachar doocot to form part of his dream home.

The doocot has fallen into decline.

Papers submitted to Aberdeenshire Council by Brown and Brown Architects show the plans for B-listed Disblair Doocot – a former part of Disblair House that’s now on the buildings at risk register.

The shelter for pigeons was built in 1804 but has been crumbling into ruin for the past few decades.

The ancient building could soon be reborn.

Mr Stone wants the “fully restored” doocot to form the entrance to his “unashamedly contemporary” single-storey home, with a glazed corridor linking it to the rest of the building at a lower level.

This image shows how the doocot could be furnished with a large glass vestibule leading to the luxury home.

The property would have its own cinema room, three bedrooms, study and four-car garage.

Another view, showing how the property would be built around a courtyard, with the doocot entrance in the background.

Brown and Brown state: “Our client wishes the doocot to be an integral part of their
home, and intends to use it as a primary entrance, whilst also reinstating and repairing it using faithful and traditional construction methods.

“The client is seeking to create a contemporary house on the site, which is designed to
allow the doocot to be viewed as the visually dominant feature within the landscape.”

The doocot will make for a distinctive entrance to the property.
There will be a spacious living room with huge windows allowing natural light to stream in.
The design images show a water feature outside the building.
There will be an access track stretching around the side of the home to the large garage.

Aberdeenshire Council has now approved the proposal.

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

Pawz Pet Supplies opening shop in Westhill

Finally, Newburgh man Stephen Bruce is planning to expand his mobile Pawz Pet Supplies business by opening his own shop in Westhill.

Steve Bruce with his mobile Pawz Pet Supplies van.

And the location couldn’t be more fitting.

Mr Bruce is applying to take over the former Town and Country Veterinary Group building on Westhill Drive.

The former vets building in Westhill could soon be the new home of Pawz Pet Supplies.

Documents sent to Aberdeenshire Council show how the surgery would be turned into a storage area and the staff room would be revamped as a dog grooming room.

Meanwhile, the former changing room would be transformed into a shop selling various pet supplies.

Pawz Pet Supplies operates from a van at the moment.

Currently, the independent business operates purely as a mobile pet shop.

Mr Bruce, an offshore rope inspection equipment engineer offshore, works nights and weekends visiting communities across the north-east with his business.

A glimpse at the stock inside the van.

He stocks a range of items for dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, fish and wild birds.

Speaking to us recently, Mr Bruce said: “I followed my dream and it’s gone from strength to strength. I’ve never looked back.”

Mr Bruce’s dogs Lottie and Charlie model some of the gear you could be kitting out your canine companion in at Pawz Pet Supplies in Westhill.

You can see the plans for yourself using these links:

Aberdeen beach chip shop

Flats with ‘zen garden’ in Aberdeen

Lossiebank House in Banchory

Barn conversion near Huntly

Braemar Gathering meeting place 

St Mary’s Place nail salon

Legends Sports Bar expansion

New Stonehaven home

Inverurie Lidl plans

Doocot to form home

Pawz Pet Supplies plans for Westhill