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.

Appeal to replace historic windows at draughty £600,000 Old Aberdeen home refused and new flats above Molly Malone’s

Elsewhere in the north-east, an old cake shop in Fraserburgh could become a take-away and Inverbervie's Queens Hotel is looking to expand into a closed shop next door.

Plans to replace draughty Old Aberdeen windows have become something of a pane for their owner
Plans to replace draughty Old Aberdeen windows have become something of a pane for their owner... Image: Chris Donnan/DC Thomson

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

This week’s instalment comes as we enter spring, with longer days being warmly welcomed, but we aren’t too far removed from some freezing temperatures.

That’s why the owner of a £600,000 home in Old Aberdeen sought permission to  replace rickety old windows – and we detail the wrangle that ensued at the prospect of altering the historic house.

We also have good news for Union Street – with unused offices being transformed into city centre homes.

But first, we look at a property conversion a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the heart of Aberdeen.

Art studio to be turned into home

A former art studio facing onto an Aberdeenshire village green could be turned back into a house.

Primrose Cottage is just along from Udny’s famous Eat on the Green restaurant at Academy Court.

Primrose Cottage, which could soon be turned into a cosy one-bedroom home. Image: Google Maps

Danny Ross – the owner of the nearby Tolquhon Gallery in Tarves – taught art classes there when it was known as Art on the Green.

In the summer of 2021, Mr Ross brought his 24-year tenure to a close with his final lesson.

Tolquhon Gallery owner Danny Ross with some of the paintings on show at the gallery’s annual Christmas exhibition in 2008.

Now, The Udny Trust is seeking Aberdeenshire Council’s permission to turn the C-listed 19th century building back into a home.

Blueprints show how the ground floor art studio could be split into a bedroom, dining room and living room.

Before becoming an art studio, the cottage was Fleeman’s Country Shop, named after the Laird of Udny’s “fool”.

This image comes from 2018 when it was still known as Art on the Green. Image: Google Maps

Tower to protect endangered birds at Aberdeenshire Castle

A fortnight ago, Planning Ahead detailed an application from the new owner of a historic town house near Alford – who wants to paint it pink to match nearby Craigievar Castle.

It comes as the famous attraction near Alford is covered in scaffolding, with major repairs taking place.

Harper and Allan masonry workers Steven Stuart (left) and Lewis Morrison at Craigievar Castle in January. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

The windows are boarded up as part of the project, and this could have an impact on some of the tourist landmark’s regular visitors…

Owners of the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) say there will be “little chance” for the house martins who normally nest in the window cavities to do so this summer.

The birds’ numbers are in such “alarming” decline they are a “red list” species.

So NTS bosses want to put up a 5m tower to ensure the birds have somewhere to breed in the months ahead.

Here is how the 5m tall house martin tower would look. Image: National Trust for Scotland

How does the tower work?

The structure would emit a “low volume house martin nesting call” to attract the small birds to the “alternative roost site”.

It also functions as a bat roost, so could provide some supplementary accommodation for the creatures already known to dwell in the castle’s attic and roof.

Craigievar Castle
Craigievar Castle is known for its distinctive pink hue. Image: Heather Fowlie/DC Thomson

If it works, the Trust might keep it there even after the scaffolding comes down.

And it would be kept far enough away from the castle that it wouldn’t get in the way of the many selfies sure to be taken there once the project ends.

Last week, we detailed plans to upgrade the tower at Drum Castle to prevent it getting damaged in bad weather. 

Banchory care home generator sparks concern for ‘distinctive tree’

In Banchory, plans to install a generator to protect care home residents during power cuts came under fire over concerns about a tree.

The proposals have been lodged by Crossreach, which runs the 34-bed Bellfield Home on Dee Street.

It comes after a similar application was submitted for its Clashfarquhar House venue in Stonehaven, and CrossReach formed the scheme at the council’s request following recent severe power cuts.

Bellfield Home is in the centre of Banchory. Image: Google Maps

Papers sent to the authority state: “The generator is to provide back-up electricity in an emergency situation during a power outage.”

It would have a capacity of 250l of fuel, burning through 16.7l per hour when deployed.

The generator plans came after storms in recent years left many care homes all over Scotland without power. Image: Google Maps

However, Banchory Community Council objected due to its proposed location next to a “particularly distinctive and important tree”.

They said the cables linking it to the plant room would pass through its roots and raised concerns about the “unacceptable noise and fumes immediately next to a very busy pavement.”

The Bellfield Home was redeveloped in 2014. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

They suggested consideration could be given instead to “sustainable emergency power sources”.

But failing that, they asked the generator to be put somewhere else.

There were concerns about the noise bothering people on Dee Street. Image: Google Maps

CrossReach said there would be an “acoustic canopy” surrounding the device to minimise noise.

And they agreed to move it south of the original site.

Approving the plans, Aberdeenshire Council said the changes mean it will no longer “impact on the tree or its root protection area”.

Defibrillator could be installed at coastal visitor spot

Cruden Community Council is taking action to make the picturesque coastal village a safer place.

The life-saving device will be attached to the side of the old building. Image: Google Maps

Members have submitted plans to install a defibrillator on the side of the Mission Hall along Harbour Street.

The old building has been used by the Port Errol Model Railway Club for the past 40 years.

Permission sought to keep food van at Dunottar Castle

George Pearson, who owns Dunottar Castle, is applying to keep a food van at the car park opposite the Stonehaven landmark.

Dunnottar Castle near Stonehaven. Image: Colin Rennie/DC Thomson

Consent from Aberdeenshire Council is needed every year, with the van opening up for the busy tourist season between June and September.

In previous years, the local authority has decided that it doesn’t have any impact on the character of the historic monument 500 yards away.

American pro-wrestling legend Hacksaw Jim Duggan recently visited the castle on a trip to the north-east:

Flats above Molly Malone’s approved

Various proposals to bring more people onto Union Street have been launched in recent months.

Old offices above the Amarone Italian restaurant could soon become student pads, and developers want to build an eight-storey block of flats nearby.

All this will be music to the ears of the new Our Union Street group – as they launch efforts to arrest the decline of the Granite Mile.

The first and second floors have been unoccupied for more than a decade. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Now, plans to turn abandoned offices above popular Irish bar Molly Malone’s into four flats have been given the go-ahead.

The scheme was lodged in April and featured in our weekly round-up at the time.

The plans will bring more residents into the heart of Aberdeen. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

What about the noise?

The plans may have raised some eyebrows, with the pub below being known for live music.

It’s open until midnight most nights and 1am on Friday and Saturday.

Last summer, Edinburgh-based experts Ethos Environmental performed noise studies to see if it would be an issue.

Intricate devices to measure sound were placed on the first floor, above the pub. Image: Ethos Environment

In a report to the council, they recommended “modifications to the floor” to keep the sound of traditional Irish tunes at bay.

And developers pledged to include extra insulation for the first-floor flats to block out any noise.

Molly Malone’s can get lively at the weekends. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Planners have now rubber-stamped the transformation of the first and second floors.

The space has been vacant for 14 years and funding was secured to bring it up to scratch.

Inverbervie hotel expanding into old shop

The Queens Arms Hotel in Inverbervie has launched expansion plans.

The hotel could soon welcome more diners. Image: Google Maps

The King Street building wants to move into the former Keepsakes shop next door, turning the space into a cafe/restaurant that would share the hotel’s kitchen.

Blueprints show there would be six tables, and room for 20 diners to sit in.

Spicy Saturday Specials 🤩Chicken Balti served with Rice & Naan BreadChicken Korma served with Rice & Naan BreadFood served 11am to 3pm and 5pm to 9pm

Posted by The Queens Restaurant & Bar, Inverbervie on Saturday, 3 September 2022

If recent TripAdvisor reviews are anything to go by, visitors to the seaside village could be in for a treat at the proposed eatery.

One hailed the “faultless” homemade macaroni, while others praised the generous portions and “lovely home cooked meals”.

Keepsakes has been empty for some time. Image: Google Maps

Fraserburgh coffee shop to become take-away

When the old Cakerella Cakery on the Broch’s High Street closed in 2020, it became a venue for the Fraserburgh Futures Partnership.

The colourful shop had been a mainstay for eight years, but the owner decided to sell it to spend more time with their wee boy.

🧁 As some of you may already know…. 🧁Our shop is going up for sale. We’ve had an amazing 8 years in the shop but…

Posted by Cakerella Cakery on Tuesday, 21 July 2020

The building was later listed to rent.

Ishtiaq Anwar, a director of IR Foods, has now formed plans to turn it into a take-away.

At this point, the type of food it might sell is yet to be confirmed.

The new food outlet would be next to a pizzeria. Image: Google Maps

Plans to replace Old Aberdeen windows fall foul of heritage guidelines

Finally, we look at how some home improvement plans in Old Aberdeen raised the ire of local historians…

During the winter months in the north-east, and especially with heating costs at an all-time high, having old and draughty windows is far from ideal.

The Chanonry is one of Aberdeen’s most scenic walkways. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

The owners of 10 The Chanonry in Old Aberdeen, which was sold for £612,500 in November 2019, recently sought to do up theirs to prevent heat loss.

The home is next to St Machar Cathedral and, when it went for sale, one unusual feature was the “resident woodpecker” who lives in the large garden. 

But the 18th century building, along one of Aberdeen’s most picturesque streets, is listed – which means any upgrades are closely scrutinised.

Owner Chris Finnigan drafted in window experts from Durno, near Inverurie, to carry out an inspection.

They submitted a report to Aberdeen City Council detailing peeling paint, “timber decay” and faults that “allow greater draughts” and “moisture ingress”.

The Old Aberdeen home seeking to get new windows is along the Chanonry. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Ally Stagg from Ventrolla Grampian said: “In my professional opinion, the windows on the first and second floor are beyond economical repair and are best to be replaced.”

He recommended exact copies of the originals be used, which would be supplied by his own firm.

The historic property is set back 120m from The Chanonry. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Why did local watchdogs object to Old Aberdeen windows plan?

But Old Aberdeen Community Council raised concerns about changes to the Georgian home.

They said there wasn’t enough proof provided of the windows’ deterioration, saying rules about “repair and retention” should be followed.

No 10, The Chanonry is definitely a dream home…

The group’s Steven Berry added: “This application does not in these instances adequately demonstrate that repair is unachievable.

“Thermal performance is not in itself justifiable argument for window replacement in listed buildings.”

We revealed images of the property when it went on sale.

Council planners agreed that not enough had been done to show the windows are beyond repair, leaving Mr Finnigan stuck with them for the time being.

The local authority will need a “sufficiently robust survey” before allowing their replacement.

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

Udny art studio to become home

Craigievar Castle bird plans

Banchory care home generator

Cruden Bay defibrillator

Dunnottar Castle food van

Flats above Molly Malone’s

Inverbervie hotel plans

Fraserburgh take-away 

Old Aberdeen windows plan