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.

Stonehaven petrol station in doubt over stream, plans for Peterhead whisky shop and Union Street cafe

We also look at improvement plans for a pair of castles in Deeside.

A stream could waylay plans to create a new petrol station beside the AWPR at Stonehaven.
A stream could waylay plans to create a new petrol station beside the AWPR at Stonehaven. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

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

Our final instalment of April comes days after the official Aberdeenshire flag was unfurled during a spectacular ceremony at Castle Fraser.

And we are starting this week’s round-up with a look at plans for two other castles in the region.

Further on, we have an update on how a new Stonehaven petrol station could be undone due to a row over a stream on the land…

Inside look at Kincardine Castle as next generation plots changes

Kincardine Castle dates back to the 1890s, and has been in the same family since it was built near Kincardine O’Neil.

It’s been described as a “Victorian fantasy castle”.

In the 1990s it was converted into a luxury guesthouse, while remaining a family home at the same time.

But this can, at times, cause conflict.

Kincardine Castle served as a hospital during the wars. Image: Deeside Photo

Two years ago, Laird of Kincardine and Stranduff Estate Andrew Bradford and wife Nicky passed it on to their son Edward, his wife Rosa and their children after 40 years.

Since July 2021, the new generation have been managing the estate between Banchory and Aboyne.

Andrew and Nicola Bradford at Kincardine Castle in years past. Image: Deeside Photo.

And now the new owners are plotting upgrades – “partly to make the house work better as a family home at the same time as the guesthouse”.

These would include improving an “industrial” metal staircase in one tower and passages previously blocked up will be opened to let in more light.

The billiard room was turned into a kitchen decades ago, and a revamp will see a huge new table installed in the middle in an homage to its past. Image: Hoare, Ridge and Morris

Meanwhile a “high standard catering kitchen” would be created in the butler’s pantry, with walls being removed to make space, while a disused dumb waiter is being restored.

Architects Hoare, Ridge and Morris say this “would allow a 21st century standard of catering for the historic dining room”.

A wine cellar would be reinstated at the south-east of the castle, and a new storage room for guests’ coats and boots built.

Changes would also be made to prevent visitors and the family crossing paths on the way to the toilet, a situation deemed “unsatisfactory for the applicants, who have a young family”.

A new bathroom would be built for guests only, easily accessed off popular communal areas.

A new WC would be built off the Great Hall, where it should be more convenient for visitors. Image: Hoare, Ridge and Morris

Lasting tribute to former Braemar Castle owner

Deeper into Royal Deeside, changes are also planned at Braemar Castle.

Braemar Community Ltd is currently in the midst of a major improvement project designed to make the 17th century structure a tourist draw.

Braemar Castle on the outskirts of the village.

Organisers now want to pay tribute to its late owner, Captain Alwyne Farquharson, with an ornate stone panel.

The 16th Chief of Clan Farquharson died in October 2021.

Captain Alwyne Farquharson with his castle in the background.

And the lasting monument would be erected above a new doorway the team hopes to create to the rear courtyard.

How will panel look?

The “armorial panel” (a stone carving featuring his coat of arms) would be based on one at Invercauld House.

Except in this one, wildcat carvings would be made to appear “more muscular and life-like”.

This engraving dates back to 1674. Image: Bell Ingram Design

Documents sent to Aberdeenshire Council explain its importance to the Farquharson Clan.

Conservationist Karolina Allan states: “I feel like this armorial panel will be a sign of end of an era of the castle…

“It’s no longer a centre of conflict, but centre for community life.”

Old coal shed turned into Fittie Airbnb without permission

Last summer, a row erupted when plans were formed to turn one of the last Fittie tarry sheds into an Airbnb.

It was saved when locals rose up to protect the distinctive 19th century fishing hut.

One of the final Fittie tarry sheds was spared the wrecking ball. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

The owner of the nearby 28 South Square will be hoping for an easier time of it, having now submitted retrospective plans to turn an old coal shed into a short-term let.

Businessman Charles Eggerton Ian Harding says the small space now features one double bed, with maximum stays of three days on offer.

The former coal shed has been accommodation for more than a year. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

The quirky spot has been in use since October 2o21, marketed as The Old Coal Shed.

A two-night stay for a weekend in May would cost £177.

A Buddha statue is one of the unusual decorations outside. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

And could Cafe 52 be forced to remove outdoor seating area?

In February, Aberdeen’s Cafe 52 was given permission to keep its “shepherds hut” outdoor dining cabin in place for another three years.

That came despite complaints it could detract from the traditional area of the city. 

Do you think the outdoor area blights the cobbled surroundings? Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Now, owner Steve Bothwell is applying to keep an extra outdoor area built without permission.

Papers sent to the council simply say that he carried out the unauthorised work “because he required additional seating space after a high demand in customers”.

The outdoor area has been in place for years. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Should planning chiefs decide it looks out of place, Mr Bothwell could be forced to take it down.

The blow could also leave Guardian food critic Grace Dent miffed, who last year ladled praise on the “charming bistro”.

Union Street shop could become new cafe after Covid delay

Aberdeen’s Granite Mile has rarely been out of the headlines lately – with a new campaign group trying to save Union Street and Jamieson and Carry waging war against take-away plans next door.

The shop has been empty for five years. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Now developers are keen to renew their mission to turn a closed newsagent into a cafe.

Kilkenny Properties was given the go-ahead to turn the old Newsbox at 207A Union Street into some form of diner in 2020.

There are many other shops on Union Street in need of new life. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

But, due to the pandemic, they say they were unable to move forward.

And the three-year limit will expire in August.

Management is now appealing for another three years to see if they can secure a taker for one of the city centre’s many vacant units.

The former newsagency is on the corner with Crown Street. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Architects Halliday Fraser Munro explain: “The applicant is simply applying to extend the life of the [permission] to allow further flexibility and opportunities to market the building.”

No details on the type of diner will emerge until a tenant comes forward.

Blue Toon could soon raise a glass to new whisky shop

Plans have been formed to turn the offices of fishing services firm Scanmar, at 26 Harbour Street in Peterhead, into a new whisky shop.

Residents could soon be popping into a corner shop with a bit of a difference… Image: Google Maps

Deborah Younsgon has lodged the proposal for the ground floor of the building on the corner with James Street.

Her plans would require a series of internal alterations.

The new venture would be just next to the port. Image: Google Maps

Towns like Turriff, Ellon, Inverurie and Huntly all have their own specialist shops selling Scotland’s national drink – but there isn’t one within miles of Peterhead.

The B-listed building is part of a block of warehouses dating back to the earl 1800s.

It comes after permission was granted in 2018 to turn the adjoining Caledonian Fisheries building at 28-32 Harbour Street into 15 flats.

Would you like to see a whisky shop in Peterhead? Let us know in our comments section below

Could stream scupper Stonehaven petrol station – and Starbucks?

At the start of March developers unveiled major proposals for a new petrol station with its own drive-thru coffee shop just off the AWPR at Stonehaven.

The plans show almost five acres of agricultural land transformed beside the busy bypass.

The application to Aberdeenshire Council was accompanied by a 144-page report outlining various aspects of the project.

The site between the A90 and A92 roads has been earmarked for the large petrol station. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

But it’s now being claimed that the dossier had an important omission…

Local authority flooding experts are objecting, saying applicants Euro Garages have “neglected” the stream running through the site.

The Megray Burn could cause issues… Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

They say current plans show the Stonehaven petrol station being built over the stream – which should be “open channel”, and not covered up.

Flooding gurus also take aim at claims the burn has been culverted, as such a ploy would not be allowed “for land gain purposes”.

They conclude: “The proposed development may be at risk of flooding and/or exacerbate flood risk elsewhere.”

The land as seen from the roundabout. Image: Lauriston Planning

Any other concerns?

Meanwhile Gregor Stewart, who lives nearby at Bridge of Cowie, is unhappy about the type of business earmarked for the site (with the potential for it to include a Starbucks, Burger King or Greggs).

He says these are “not companies I want to be associated with ‘The Gateway to Stonehaven'”.

Here’s how the site would spread across the land. Image: Lauriston Planning

He adds: “The Gateway to Stonehaven is the lovely view across the bay from the golf course, or of the entire downtown area from the Netherly Road.

“The Gateway to Stonehaven should not be spoiled by a commercial development.”

Mr Stewart also blasted drive-thru users who “for some reason, like throwing things out of windows”.

Safety fears were raised about the roundabout near the petrol station, as well as the Stonehaven stream. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Kay Kidd, of Drumlithie, voiced fears about “dangerous” queues of traffic building up near the roundabout.

But some people support the scheme.

Mintlaw’s Robert Paterson said: “With the addition of the AWPR, drivers are under serviced without making significant detours off the main road.”

Further investigations will take place into the stream before any decision is made.

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

Kincardine Castle upgrades

Braemar castle plans

Fittie Airbnb

Cafe 52 outdoor area

Union Street cafe

Peterhead whisky shop

Stonehaven petrol station stream concerns