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Home plans for St Cyrus cafe and old Ellon decorators could be turned into ‘Supervet hospital’

Meanwhile, unwanted Aberdeen offices could become houses and a new Peterculter take-away has been approved.

The Old Bakery Coffee shop in St Cyrus could be turned into a three-bedroom home.
The Old Bakery Coffee shop in St Cyrus could be turned into a three-bedroom home. Image: Google Maps/Clarke Cooper

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

This week’s instalment brings news of two possible renovations for recently vacated north-east businesses.

In Ellon, the large Lawrence Milne decorators might soon be taken over by specialist vets, with the shop floor becoming animal operating theatres.

Meanwhile the Old Bakery coffee shop in St Cyrus could be turned into a three-bedroom house just months after it brewed its last cuppa.

Changes are also in store for a historic Braemar bus station and an Aberdeen church that has long lain empty.

But first off, we have plans to transform a pair of unwanted offices in the city’s west end…

Owner to turn offices into home after failing to find any takers

The owner of 11 Rubislaw Terrace wants to transform the workplace into a large three-bedroom property complete with two home offices and a games room.

The B-listed granite building, which dates back to the 1850s, is part of a terrace created to “show the prosperity and wealth of the city”.

The building is overlooking Queens Terrace Gardens. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Like many such grand residences, it was converted into offices to meet an employment boom.

However, papers sent to the council explain that it has “sat empty for years” as a result of the oil downturn.

The building was occupied by Offshore Marine Services. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

And architects say businesses are opting to move into purpose-built, energy-efficient offices elsewhere in Aberdeen.

The owner has now given up trying to lease it, and wants to turn it into a home for himself and his family to prevent it falling into disrepair.

The picturesque row of buildings is adorned with several “to let” signs. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

The games room would be on the lower ground floor, with the kitchen, dining room and sitting room on the ground floor and bedrooms on the first and second levels.

Gordon’s Inn Investment has lodged the plans.

Could former seafood HQ be your next home?

Nearby, Andrew Walker of Stirlingshire wants to turn 55 Carden Place back into a home.

The director of Salmac Holdings is aiming to return the property to its original use, after his firm moved out.

The building is on the corner of Carden Place and Albyn Terrace Lane. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Like 11 Rubislaw Terrace, it has struggled to find occupiers in the wake of the oil price crash – with Covid making things even worse.

Proposals have now been sent to Aberdeen City Council to turn it into a new house with its own wine cellar.

The spire of Queens Cross Church can be seen here in the background. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

It was last used by Salmac Scottish Seafood, and had been the Taylor and Ogston store (selling shop fixtures and fittings) before that.

The building is now for sale as a four-bedroom home for £475,000.

The west end building on a sunny April morning. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Plans for new shop in Dyce

A new shop could be built on the site of demolished public toilets in the heart of Dyce.

Fleet Properties, which is based on Victoria Street in the Aberdeen suburb, has put forward the proposal.

The new shop would be built next to the church hall. Image: Google Maps

The same firm saw plans for a shop and flat at the spot rejected in 2017.

This time, there’s no flat.

And there would be space for parking at the rear, with one EV charger.

This offers an idea of how the shop would look. Image: Ken Mathieson architects

The type of shop has not yet been confirmed – but local Ewelina Watson has already written to the council in support, and offered a few suggestions when she was at it.

She thinks a butcher, fishmonger or Chinese take-away would all be “ideal” for Dyce.

Here’s how the fenced-off spot looks just now. Image: Joanne Warnock

Eye-catching Braemar building to become offices for hotel staff

Last week, Planning Ahead detailed the row raging over the “unauthorised” demolition of a historic hotel in Braemar following a fire.

Now, plans have been formed to preserve one of the village’s most distinctive buildings..

Braemar Omnibus Station as it now looks.

The B-listed Omnibus Depot dates back to 1900, when it was a bus station connecting Braemar to the railway line in Ballater.

It has been used as flats since about 2013.

The old station as it looked prior to the flats revamp. Image: Moxon Architects
The wood-panelled waiting room would become an office under the proposals. Image: Moxon Architects

And Artfarm, who own the nearby luxury Fife Arms Hotel, are now seeking to do it up as they convert it into offices and staff rooms.

It comes as the upmarket firm requires extra space for workers with a new Ballater seafood restaurant and the revamped Invercauld Arms poised to reopen soon.

You can read more about the Invercauld Arms plans here.

Work needed on Balmoral Estate to keep emergency services connected

London-based Airwave Solutions has a network of satellites across the UK, used to maintain communications to the emergency services even in the toughest conditions.

One of them happens to be nestled in the hills amid acres of Deeside countryside owned by King Charles.

The land in question is part of Balmoral Estate, which has been in the royal family since Victorian times.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh during a visit to a farm on their Balmoral estate, to celebrate their Silver Wedding anniversary. Image: Buckingham Palace

The company wants to carry out work on a site at Inchnabobart, on a hillside near Loch Muick.

There is already a comms tower and “long-established” base there, which includes an underground equipment room.

The site is between the Inchnabobart hunting lodge – which lovingly described by Prince Harry in autobiography Spare – and the Birkhall residence King Charles took on from the Queen Mother. Image: Google Maps

The 8m pole is described as “integral” to the network.

Now, due to technological advances, an existing dish needs to be replaced by the end of the year to make sure it still works.

Disused Lonmay steading could become home

Farmer Peter Oosterhof wants to transform a derelict steading at Blackhills of Lonmay into a new house.

The buildings are said to be unfit for agricultural purposes. Image: Google Maps

Mr Oosterof runs Hillhead Livestock, following in the footsteps of his father Sjirk.

Last summer the beef farmer was handed a special award by Marks and Spencer for improving biodiversity at his Savoch Farm near Fraserburgh.

Peter Oosterhof is behind the plans.

If permission to demolish the steading for a new home is granted, he will later seek to turn a disused chicken shed into a pair of houses.

Greece is the word for abandoned Aberdeen kirk

Nigg Parish Church, in the shadow of Kincorth Hill, was opened in 1829.

Nigg Parish Kirk is between Kincorth Hill and the A956 road. Image: Google Maps

It served generations of the community for decades.

But it has been used as storage space for many years, after being closed more than a decade ago.

The Rev Laurence Matthews, centre, was presented with a portable television and cheque when he left Nigg Parish Church in 1985. Image: DC Thomson

Now, Aberdeen’s Greek Orthodox Parish of Saint Matthew want to bring it back to life as a place of worship.

Under the blueprints, rows of storage racks would be removed to make way for seating and a holy table.

The congregation already has a base on King Street:

Posted by The Saint Matthew Orthodox Church in Aberdeen on Sunday, 17 November 2019

Peterculter take-away approved

Long-awaited plans to breathe new life into an empty building in Peterculter have finally been approved.

Last year, Bieldside-based developer Matnic Ltd submitted proposals to create 14 flats at 244 North Deeside Road, along with a new shop.

It had been vacant for more than 10 years by then.

The old unit is next to a tanning salon. Image: Google Maps

The scheme for the site on the western edge of the suburb, just off the A93 Aberdeen to Banchory road, was rejected last June due to its scale.

The applicants promptly returned to the drawing board.

And last December, scaled down proposals were tabled – seeking only to change the old bakery building into a take-away.

Local appear to be broadly in favour of the development. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Over the festive period, 22 letters of support were submitted.

But Vincent Heneghan, who lives nearby, listed various concerns in his objection – raising fears about litter and people “illegally parking over his driveway” when popping in for a snack.

The council’s planning department raised no issues though, rubber-stamping the application.

The type of take-away which could open there has not yet been confirmed.

What type of food would you like to see on offer in Culter? Let us know in our comments section below

Old Bakery in St Cyrus set for changes

The Old Bakery Coffee Shop at St Cyrus, once a popular stop-off for day-trippers venturing to the famous sands nearby, closed for the final time at the start of the year.

The building dates back to the 18oos when, as the name suggests, it was the village bakery.

The Old Bakery Coffee Shop in St Cyrus served customers from the window during the pandemic. Image: Google Maps

Baker James Moncur learned his trade in Forfar before erecting the building at St Cyrus between 1861 and 1871.

The building had been a cafe for many years until shutting this February.

Its final TripAdvisor reviews praise the coastal “gem” for its “delicious Victoria sponge”.

It was placed for sale for offers over £250,000 shortly before closing.

The site was described as having “vast potential”, as a business or purely a home.

The property is just off the A92 road between Stonehaven and Montrose. Image: Google Maps

The latter option has been favoured by Cabella Properties, which is based nearby and run by Wayne and Salinee Cabrelli.

They are now seeking permission to turn the Beach Road building into a three-bedroom home.

Could former Ellon decorators be turned into huge pet hospital?

Just weeks after the Old Bakery Coffee Shop served its final customers, the curtain came down on the Lawrence Milne decorating shop in Ellon.

Last month, the 85-year-old business called it a day for the retail branch of the business.

The base was purpose-built for the decorators. Image: Stephen G Brown architect

Boss Kevin Milne said the store near the Brewdog brewery at Balmacassie, which opened in 2011, had been “getting quieter over the past five years”.

The shop experienced a surge in 2020 when people took on home improvement projects in lockdown, but the boost proved short-lived.

Kevin Milne and Sheila Penny as the firm marked 85 years in business last summer. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

It shut for the final time on March 31, though the decorating arm is still going strong.

But the building might not be lying empty for too long.

Unfortunately thats the retail shop closed it’s doors for the final time, thank you to all the staff and customers overs…

Posted by Lawrence Milne Decorators on Friday, 31 March 2023

Who are the local ‘Supervets’ looking to refurbish the building?

Aberdeen Veterinary Referrals has submitted plans to turn it into a huge animal hospital.

Pets are referred to the clinic, which currently has a base at Foveran, if vets decide they need an extra level of expertise or advance facilities.

It’s the sort of treatment made famous in TV documentary Supervet starring miracle-working Noel Fitzpatrick.

One of the practice’s vets posing with a bandaged pug. Image: Aberdeen Veterinary Referrals

Surgeon Scott Rigg, who has lodged the proposals, is arguably his Aberdeenshire equivalent having featured on a BBC Alba series about vets.

He was filmed carrying out a risky surgery on a pug, emergency spinal operations on a French bulldog and mending a labrador’s leg.

Scott Rig in action. Image: Aberdeen Veterinary Referrals

Papers sent to Aberdeenshire Council explain that the applicants “have experience in setting up and running such a business”.

It would be for dogs and cats, with plenty space for its state-of-the-at equipment.

A sunny ☀️ Friday bringing all these gorgeous patients to see us here at AVR. Some of these beautiful fur babies were…

Posted by Aberdeen Veterinary Referrals on Friday, 22 April 2022

It would employ 10-15 people, though not all would be full-time.

There would be two X-Ray rooms and a CT scanning room, along with three consulting rooms and four operating theatres.

Space for a dog exercise area has also been pencilled in, to help poorly pups return to health.

This story was updated on 17/04/23 to make clear it was only the Ellon store that closed earlier this year and that Lawrence Milne continues to operate as a business.

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

11 Rubislaw Terrace plans

55 Carden Place to become home

Dyce shop

Braemar offices 

Emergency services system at Balmoral Estate

Lonmay steading conversion

Nigg Parish Church

Peterculter take-away

St Cyrus cafe could become home

Ellon vets