Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Changes to end wheelchair ‘discrimination’ at Aberdeen Arts Centre, MND-friendly Alford holiday home and could Pizza Hut be coming to Inverurie?

Aberdeen Arts Centre wheelchair users currently face problems getting into the venue.
Plans have been formed to boost Aberdeen Arts Centre wheelchair access. Image: Clarke Cooper/DCT Media

Welcome to Planning Ahead – our weekly round-up of the latest proposals lodged across the north-east.

Today’s instalment comes days before Burns Night – but it’s pizza, cakes and ice cream on our menu rather than haggis and whisky…

A new pizza parlour has been approved in the heart of Inverurie, an Instagram baker wants to take her online business into Aberdeen and we have a scoop about a new ice cream shop planned for Aboyne…

We also look at how traditional buildings are being adapted to fit modern requirements.

Aberdeen Arts Centre bosses want to improve wheelchair access, while an old farm building at Alford could be turned into a holiday let for people with MND.

Holburn Street cake shop plans

Sugar Skulls and Cream was started by Potterton’s Andrea Gabor about two years ago, and it’s built quite a following since then.

Andrea tells us she began by making a birthday cake for her baby twins and soon started receiving requests from impressed friends.

Birthday cupcakes

Posted by SUGAR Skulls & cream on Sunday, 14 August 2022

Currently, the one-woman operation exists on orders alone, with requests flooding in on social media.

Alongside looking after her young children, Andrea has her hands full preparing towering wedding and birthday cakes, gooey brownies and special “treat boxes” for her army of followers.

Maltesers cake

Posted by SUGAR Skulls & cream on Thursday, 24 February 2022

But she now wants to expand by turning an old solicitors’ office on Holburn Street into a mouthwatering venue for fancy piece aficionados.

The building is near the Holburn Bar and had been advertised for lease since The Chamber Practice moved out.

Papers sent to Aberdeen City Council say she ultimately wants to have seven tables serving tea, coffee, hot chocolate and a range of home bakes and cakes.

The unit would open inside this Holburn Street building that dates back to 1895. Image: Google Maps

Andrea will be hoping to emulate the success of Fat Batch in Kittybrewster, whose owner Eve Smith turned the brookie-based Instagram sensation into a thriving bricks and mortar enterprise.

As for the unusual name, Andrea chuckles as she tells us she has “always been a little bit different”.

F•R•I•E•N•D•Sthe one with Rach’s birthday

Posted by SUGAR Skulls & cream on Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Skulls are a passion of hers, and she saw it as a way to stand out in a crowded cake market.

She added: “I don’t mind being known as the crazy lady with the skulls.”

New roadside diner could be built beside A96

An A96 petrol station near Huntly could be reinvented under major new plans.

The Ashgrove filling station might soon become home to a large cafe if proposals lodged by Sean Buchan are approved.

The Ashgrove is between Keith and Huntly on the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road. Image: Google Maps

There’s already space for four lorries to park there, but these plans would also create another seven berths.

And blueprints show how the proposed cafe building would have an area for truckers to relax on their long drives.

Applicant Sean Buchan sees plenty of potential to develop the roadside spot. Image: Google Maps
This design image shows how the site would be expanded. Image: John Wink Design

The facilities would include a vending machine, a 24-hour shower block and a “bothy” area.

The restaurant, meanwhile, would have space for 60 people.

These concept images offer a glimpse at the possible future of the Ashgrove:

Just north of the existing petrol station, the large new cafe with trucker amenities would be built. Image: John Wink Design
There would be a new car park too. Image: John Wink Design
Outdoor seating could be created for people catching a breath of fresh air when resting on long journeys. Image: John Wink Design
Dozens of seats would be available inside the cafe too. Image: John Wink Design

Permission needed for Aberdeen food van

In Aberdeen, Arun Dhanola is seeking permission to start trading from a food truck on the side of Quarry Road in Northfield.

Here’s where the truck would be selling snacks from. Image: Arun Dhanola

Mr Dhanola says the 12ft long trailer is parked there just now but isn’t yet in business.

Located next to various units at Northfield Industrial Estate, he will be hoping peckish workers make a success of the scheme.

‘Wellness retreat’ in north-east countryside to ‘rejuvenate the soul’

Proposed holiday lets at Lonmay, just off the A90 between Peterhead and Fraserburgh, have been hailed as a stress-busting chance to reconnect with nature.

Andrew and Lesley Calzetti want to create the two huts in a field adjacent to their Old Schoolhouse home.

The land in the north-east countryside could soon be transformed. Image: Google Maps

The planned “Fiddlers Retreat” destination would operate as “a beautiful, calm wellness retreat”.

The owners would transform the field into a wildflower meadow to attract bees and butterflies.

Black swallowtail, yellow swallowtail, and monarch butterflies are seen here feeding and flying in a riot of color. Image: Shutterstock

They add: “Our adult guests would be offered an environment where they would be able to relax, recover, and reconnect with nature – whether suffering from stress, burnout or merely visiting with a fitness or well-being purpose in mind.

“We would offer local, holistic therapies, ranging from reflexology, aromatherapy, reiki, acupuncture, massage etc.”

The business would be next to the couple’s home. Image: Google Maps

Mr and Mrs Calzetti say the restored landscape would “not only rejuvenate the soul but increase biodiversity”.

What could visitors get up to?

Guests would be asked if they want to plant a fruit tree at a proposed orchard, while the owners would also offer to arrange sessions with Fraserburgh surfing instructors.

This site blueprint shows how the huts would be placed, with space reserved for a possible two more in the future and trees all around. Image: Astell Associates

What’s more, each hut would come with two bikes to encourage visitors to explore the area on the nearby Formartine and Buchan Way.

Mr and Mrs Calzetti add: “The area is largely undiscovered for tourism.

“We will offer information on local golf, hiking, bird watching and trails in the huts and on the website, encouraging visitors to such sights as Aden Country Park, Slains Castle and Cruden Bay.”

Will Aboyne post office plans be signed, sealed and delivered?

Plans to breathe new life into the old Post Office on Charlestown Road in Aboyne should appeal to sweet-toothed residents…

The service was relocated in 2015, and the 1850 building has been listed for sale in recent years.

The former Post Office seen here in 2013. Image: Jim Irvine/DC Thomson

Steven Gardiner, from Aberdeen-based Treehouse Properties, has now submitted plans to turn the old Post Office into an ice cream shop – while transforming the rest of the building into a home.

Aberdeen airport ‘salt dome’ approved

People across the north-east have been feeling quite a chill in the last week or so, with many roads and pavements resembling ice rinks.

Bosses at Aberdeen International Airport are now taking action to ensure the roads around the Dyce terminal are kept safe.

Plans to create a new salt storage dome on unused land at nearby Ninian Road have been endorsed by the council.

This aerial image shows the plot of vacant land at the junction with Forties Road. Image: Google Maps
This design blueprint shows how the dome will look. Image: DL Architectural Consultants

A spokesman for Aberdeen International Airport said: “This will allow us to have more grit available for our landside roads, helping passenger access to our terminal.”

Inverurie take-away approved  sparking Pizza Hut intrigue

Meanwhile, plans to turn part of a former Co-op in Inverurie into a new take-away have been rubber-stamped.

The scheme, unveiled in Planning Ahead last summer, has been formed by Kirkaldy-based Glenshire Properties.

The car park between North Street and Blackhall Road in Inverurie, back when the Co-op was still open.

The Co-op closed several years ago, and the building has since been divided and taken on as a new Greens grocery shop.

The unit next door is a JG Ross bakery.

Posted by Greens of Inverurie on Tuesday, 4 October 2022

There are no details on who will be operating the pizzeria at this point.

Could former Inverurie Co-op become Pizza Hut?

But Glenshire Properties last month announced that it had “added Pizza Hut to its business portfolio”, and it’s currently advertising for a Pizza Hut manager in Kirkcaldy.

Garioch fans of the international chain will be intrigued to see what happens next.

Could Inverurie locals soon be getting a pizza the action when it comes to the world’s biggest seller of the cheesy delights? Image: Shutterstock

Pizza Hut already has 17,639 restaurants across the globe, making it the world’s largest pizza chain.

We have approached Glenshire for further information.

Scroll back and forth to see how the unit will be transformed:

Would you like to see Pizza Hut come to Inverurie? Let us know in our comments section below

Old Alford farm building could become MND-friendly getaway

An Alford steading that dates back to at least the 19th century could be revamped under plans put forward by farming couple Alan and Jane Craik.

The B-listed Tullynessle building is described as a “chaumer”, meaning it was once the living quarters of farm workers, but it’s latterly been used as a store.

The old chaumer ar Tullynessle. Image: Annie Kenyon Architects

The owners want to turn it into “fully accessible” accommodation to be offered to people with MND.

They aim to extend the one-bedroom space with an open plan living/kitchen area, which could also host a sofa bed for a carer to use.

This shows how the old storage building would be extended. Image: Annie Kenyon Architects

A separate single-storey building would be built at the lower end of the garden for other family members.

There would also be decking outside with a firepit for summertime stays, focussing on “families holidaying together”.

Rustic touches like the old barn doors would remain under the revamp. Image: Annie Kenyon Architects

A “fully accessible” route to the entrance would be paved, with everything inside kitted out to meet all needs.

But some nods to its agricultural past will be included, such as “barn-type” doors and internal timber linings.

There would even be secure fences to allow pet dogs to roam free without any risk of them escaping.

The views from the garden would be something special. Image: Annie Kenyon Architects

The MND Scotland website says that finding “suitable” holiday accommodation “can be difficult and often frustrating” for people with the condition.

The charity offers two specialist holiday homes in Scotland: Tralee Bay Chalet near Oban and Clayton Lodge close to St Andrews.

Seafarers Centre transformation approved

In October, Planning Ahead revealed proposals to convert Aberdeen Seafarers Centre into new offices.

The changes were tabled after the building was sold for £171,000 at auction in 2020.

The council has approved alterations at the prominent harbour site. Image: Google Maps

Maintenance specialists JOR Property has now been given permission to proceed with the transformation.

Council officers said the location, close to the city’s bus and train stations, could make it an ideal workplace for commuters using public transport.

Upgrades at Aberdeen Arts Centre amid worries about ‘discriminatory’ wheelchair policy

The A-listed Aberdeen Arts Centre is one of the city’s most impressive buildings – but modernising the 200-year-old ex-church could be a challenge.

While the surrounding streets have changed, the building remains the same in our ‘then and now’ graphic: 

Last year, bosses announced a million-pound makeover for the former North Parish Church.

It would include a new balcony facing Queen Street and a central square outside.

Aberdeen Arts Centre dates back to 1829, and was designed by famed Aberdeen architect John Smith. image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

And now operators Castlegate Arts want to carry out a package of works to make the venue more wheelchair-friendly.

They say the current arrangement could be seen as “discriminatory”.

The present approach sees wheelchair users entering via the back of Aberdeen Arts Centre.

This is the back entrance, where disabled theatre-goers have to enter. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

That means they have to leave the “grand” main entrance used by able-bodied visitors, before entering via the stage props door.

They then use the goods lift to reach the first-floor performance area.

Papers sent to Aberdeen City Council explain how this can “conflict with prop deliveries and theatre technicians, but can also be regarded as discriminatory”.

The stage and auditorium of the Aberdeen Arts Centre after the conversion in 1963.

The theatre wants to be able to “provide the same visitor experience for all”.

And to help wheelchair users get into the building, a platform lift would be built at the front steps.

The external lift would be built where these bike stands are. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

From there, they could access the first floor via a newly created second lift.

Another upgrade would be removing a raised floor and replacing the area surrounding the stage in the adjoining Children’s Theatre.

It was created in the late 1960s but is now outdated as it acts as a barrier for youngsters with mobility issues reaching the stage.

The rehearsal area will be changed so that the performance space is at ground level. Image: David Chouman

Architect David Chouman has penned a report, saying the improvements form part of “a wide-ranging programme of refurbishment”.

Mr Chouman says the “bespoke” internal platform lift would be installed in the stairwell of the north-east tower.

A public notice advising of the works. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

The stairwell replaced the original church’s staircase when the building was transformed in the 1960s.

Mr Chouman concludes: “Installing such a facility would provide additional access for those with mobility issues beside the principal entrance, from the same staircase as able-bodied users.”

This diagram illustrates how the lift would be positioned. Image: David Chouman

The scheme has already been backed by London-based Theatres Trust, with its national planning advisor welcoming the efforts to “enhance inclusivity”.

It comes after nearby Aberdeen Sheriff Court was slammed for its “degrading” treatment of wheelchair users as it emerged its lift has been broken since September.

You can see this week’s plans for yourself using these links:

Holburn Street cake shop 

Ashgrove truck stop

Aberdeen food van

Lonmay retreat

Aboyne ice cream shop

Airport salt dome

Inverurie take-away

Alford getaway for people with MND

Aberdeen Seafarers Centre

New lifts at Aberdeen Arts Centre