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Old Original 106 station could be demolished for car showroom and £8.5 million Dyce hotel expansion in limbo

The former radio station HQ would make way for a Seat Cupra forecourt.

The former Original 106 station at Tullos could be flattened.
The former Original 106 station at Tullos could be flattened. Image: Ben Hendry/Clarke Cooper

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

This week, we take a look at the star-studded past of the old Original 106 radio station in Tullos.

The building played host to internationally famous musicians and actors over the years, but it was vacated in 2019 and now faces demolition.

We begin, though, with some upgrades a famous landmark on the Mearns coastline.

Stonehaven war memorial improvements to protect wreaths

Perched atop cliffs between Stonehaven and Dunnottar Castle, the town’s war memorial is one of its proudest emblems.

The Grecian-style monument was built in May 1923 to remember the fallen from World War I.

Stonehaven War Memorial
Stonehaven War Memorial. Picture courtesy of John Chapman.

The names of those who died in conflict have been inscribed inside.

And from the 1920s onwards, there has been an annual wreath-laying ceremony there every Remembrance Sunday – with about 20 tributes placed at the spot.

However, its exposed location along the Mearns coast proved problematic.

Stonehaven War Memorial at the unveiling in 1923
Stonehaven War Memorial at the unveiling in 1923. Image: RBLS Stonehaven

Plans submitted to Aberdeenshire Council say that the “unsecured” wreaths on the flagstone floor were left open to the “vagaries of weather, resulting in many being broken up or even dispersed”.

In 2016, some brackets were installed at the structure to prevent this happening.

Some of the brackets affixed to the war memorial
Some of the brackets affixed to the war memorial. Image: Royal British Legion Scotland

The papers add that these “afforded protection to 12 annual wreaths, but still left around eight lying loose there each autumn”.

Ahead of a major event to commemorate its centenary this year, members of the Royal British Legion Scotland decided action was needed.

Stonehaven war memorial surrounded by people
A century on, the scene looks very familiar at this May’s rededication ceremony. Image: Wullie Marr / DC Thomson

Admired local sculptor brought on board

Member David MacDonald wrote to the council, saying: “I remarked on that shortage of wreath brackets and agreed to take on the role of remedying this situation.

“I ascertained that of eight sandstone base blocks, four did not bear any marble plaque with inscribed names and could thus be utilised for the purpose.”

Stainless steel “sculptor extraordinaire” Jim Malcolm, famous for the creations that dot the Stonehaven shoreline, was brought on board…

A steel sculpture of a lighthouse at Stonehaven beach
Stonehaven’s ‘Banksy’, Jim Malcolm, has been creating steel sculptures across the seaside town for 15 years. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Jim completed work on the brackets free of charge, meaning all 20 now have a safe space within the war memorial.

These were ready before the rededication event.

Wreaths on a bracket at the stone monument
The wreaths are now safe and secure. Image: Royal British Legion Scotland

Though permission is only now being sought, Aberdeenshire Council informally gave the work the nod in advance so that the brackets could be in place by May.

Mr MacDonald adds: “This long-living enhancement to the appearance of our wonderful memorial has already been positively remarked upon by locals and visitors.”

Trees could be taken down for new car wash

Elsewhere in Stonehaven, the Mill Inn filling station wants to create two new self-service car wash bays.

The petrol station on Dunnottar Avenue
The petrol station on Dunnottar Avenue. Image: Google Maps

Documents sent to the council by Motor Fuel Group Ltd explain that this would mean knocking down a pair of trees.

New lifeboat station vision takes a step forward

It really is all go in Stonehaven, when it comes to planning applications anyway, and we round off a hat-trick this week with a look at major proposals for a new lifeboat station.

At the start of June, the RNLI kicked off a fundraiser as they unveiled their plans for a new base for the 30-strong crew.

Stonehaven RNLI volunteers
The Stonehaven RNLI volunteers are hoping to raise £50,000 with help from the community to open its new lifeboat station next year. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson.
A crew in action on a life boat at sea
The crew heading out on a training exercise. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

At present, the lifeboat launches from the same shed as it did back in 1867.

And the crew uses a makeshift station made up of cabins yards away as their base.

The changing rooms
The current station’s changing rooms. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

They recently decided that enough’s enough, and it’s time to make things better.

Members want to create a “state-of-the-art lifeboat station”, with £50,000 plans to take over a disused building at the harbour.

The old Maritime Rescue Institute and the Survitec Group site is “ready to go”, and will have “many pluses” for the life-saving local heroes.

This is the building the crew have their eye on
This is the building the crew have their eye on. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Now the next stage of the process has been reached, with plans formally tabled with Aberdeenshire Council.

Blueprints show how the building would be converted, with a dedicated “briefing area”, space for visitors inside a new gallery, the large boat hall, a souvenir shop, training area, crew room and workshop.

A diagram of the new station
This is how the new station could look. Image: RNLI

You can donate to the cause here. More than £10,000 has been raised already!

Aberdeen dentist to expand

Woodside Dental Practice, on Great Northern Road, is seeking to fill in extra space upstairs.

The building in question with a sign reading "woodside dental practice & implant clinic"
You can see from this picture that space on the first floor is used by the dentists. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Jonathan McLean has been principle dentist and practice owner there since 2006, with procedures taking place across the ground and first floors.

Mr McLean now wants to take over the second floor flat at 419A Great Northern Road, which would require a comprehensive renovation.

Architects explain that the flat has “fallen into some serious disrepair internally”.

The green and white sign above the Woodside dental practice & implant clinic
The practice has been there since 2002. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

‘Dental practice extremely short of space’

They add: “Unfortunately, in today’s property market and also today’s construction market, such a refurbishment has been deemed non-viable to the current owner.

“The dental practice is extremely short of space and as the business grows and staff numbers look to increase, it is becoming impossible to cater for this within their current two storeys.”

The extra floorspace would create room for more surgeries, and a designated scanner room for X-rays.

The dentists office ion Woodside
The changes will allow the practice to remain at its current “thriving” base. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Cults prescription machine approved

Over in Cults, the new owners of a pharmacy have been given the go-ahead for an automated prescription machine at the North Deeside Road premises.

Ken Manson, who also runs chemists at Peterculter and Kemnay, put forward the plans for Cults Pharmacy after adding it to the family firm’s portfolio.

The Lloyds pharmacy in Cults aberdeen
The pharmacy is under new ownership. Image: Google Maps

The “vending machine” style devices allow customers to pick up prescriptions around the clock, making collections quicker.

The approach has already been adopted at other north-east pharmacies as a way to improve service.

Dilapidated Braemar bridge in line for repair

The National Trust for Scotland hopes to repair a crumbling Braemar bridge.

The crossing is near Derry Lodge, a derelict building on the Mar Lodge estate frequently visited by Queen Victoria’s son Edward VII when it housed hunting parties.

The 18th century hunting lodge
The 18th century hunting lodge as it is now. Image: DC Thomson
A metal bridge going over the river
The bridge would be rebuilt at a slightly different angle. Image: National Trust for Scotland

Plans to re-route the Deeside Way are back

Last week, Planning Ahead detailed the potential transformation of Cults Railway Station into a new cafe along the former Deeside line.

A few miles away, a stretch of the popular walking and cycling route between Aboyne and Ballater has become something of a battleground…

An aerial view of the site, with a red line indicating how the path would look
The red line indicates how the path would be redirected under the first proposal. Image: John Wink Design

The owner of Dinnet Garage sought permission to re-route part of the path to make way for an expansion of his business.

After facing a backlash, the plans were withdrawn by the end of 2022.

Scott McHardy standing next to a road
Scott McHardy, owner of the Dinnet Garage. Image: Colin Rennie/DC Thomson

But now they are back.

On this occasion, the garage is proposing a slightly different course of action, with the potentially re-routed Deeside Way curving around the extended parking area.

This comes after cyclists complained that the previous version of the plans would be unsafe due to tight angular turns.

A map indicating how the site will look
This is the slightly tweaked design. The red dotted line is the Deeside Way, with the amended path shown around the site. Image:  John Wink Design

Dyce Marriott Courtyard expansion plans on hold – again

The Marriott is yet to make any move on expansion plans for its Courtyard hotel beside Aberdeen International Airport.

Major £8.5 million upgrades were rubber-stamped by the council all the way back in 2015.

Courtyard Hotel by Marriott in Dyce
Courtyard Hotel by Marriott, Dyce. Image: Paul Glendell/DC Thomson

Since then, a stagnating market has discouraged bosses from actually going through with the ambitious idea of doubling the size of the venue.

But they aren’t totally giving up on the notion of building another six-storey block next door, with an additional 147 rooms.

A new letter sent to Aberdeen City Council acknowledges that a lot has changed since the scheme was dreamed up nearly a decade ago.

Courtyard Hotel by Marriott in Dyce
Management aren’t sure about the radical expansion at the moment. Image: Paul Glendell/DC Thomson

The American hospitality giants want the permission to be renewed for three more years, following a similar extension in 2020.

A letter states: “The development has not yet commenced due to the poor hotel trading conditions across Aberdeen as a result of the pandemic.

“These poor trading conditions have made it hard to justify the development of the additional bedrooms.”

Courtyard Hotel by Marriott with flags flying outside
The hotel is one of many around the airport. Image: Paul Glendell/DC Thomson

They say that the extra three years will “allow them to implement the plans”, but time will tell if the market bounces back enough to warrant such costly work by 2026.

City hub needs a new fire escape

Rosemount Community Centre management have been told to add a new fire escape to the grand granite building in order to keep going.

The existing fire exit from the gym is via a “narrow timber stair, up to an external platform with no access to ground level”.

Rosemount Community Centre
Rosemount Community Centre. Image: DC Thomson

This was flagged as a potential issue by inspectors, who said changes would need to be made for the hall to continue operations.

Bosses have now submitted proposals to alter the listed building, with the new fire exit facing Belgrave Terrace.

Ukrainian children and their families had fun with a Christmas party at Rosemount Community Centre
Ukrainian children and their families had fun with a Christmas party at Rosemount Community Centre in December. Image: Darrell Benns / DC Thomson

Wellbeing ‘sanctuary’ needs council permission

A meditation coach who started a wellbeing retreat known as The Sanctuary at her Whitecairns home has been told to apply for permission for it.

Susi McWilliam in the Aberdeenshire countryside
Susi McWilliam in the beautiful Aberdeenshire countryside. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

Susi McWilliam started operating the business from her garden more than five years ago.

Papers sent to Aberdeenshire Council say she was unaware that it required official consent.

Susi at her Whitecairns base.
Susi at her Whitecairns base. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

The venture at Howlands Farmhouse, between Aberdeen and Pitmedden, is described as a “safe, healing and beautiful space for people and families to escape from the fast pace of modern day life”.

Old Original 106 station at Tullos could be demolished

The former home of the north-east’s Original 106 radio station in Tullos could be knocked down to create a new car showroom.

The station operated from its spot on Craigshaw Road from its launch in 2007 until it moved to Marischal Square in the city centre in 2019.

The original 106 building with overgrown grass surrounding it
The area has become a bit overgrown. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson
Signs of its previous occupants remain at the former Original 106 station in Tullos
Signs of its previous occupants remain at the former Original 106 station in Tullos. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

For more than a decade it hosted some household names.

Local broadcasting legend Martin Ingram was one of the first DJs to work from the building, interviewing Jeff Wayne of War of the Worlds fame before building work was even complete.

He reminisced: “There was quite a lot of folk coming through the door regularly… We always got the biggest names in to say hello”

Martin Ingram with Jeff Wayne
The host with Jeff Wayne, in front of a wall that would go on to be signed by scores of stars. Image: Martin Ingram
Martin Ingram and Linda Gray
Linda Gray, who played JR Ewing’s long-suffering wife Sue Ellen in the TV series Dallas, visited Martin before a stage performance in 2007. Image: Martin Ingram
Martin Ingram and Craig McDonald and Adam Findlay in the Original 106 studio
DC Thomson bought Original 106 four years ago. Hosts Martin Ingram and Craig McDonald with Original’s managing director Adam Findlay at the Tullos building in 2019. Image: Colin Rennie/DC Thomson

Since then it hosted everyone from Dallas star Linda Gray to Dons legend Alex McLeish and a plethora of pantomime stars.

Others recollected towering pop star Darius Danesh having to stoop to avoid hitting his head on the doorways there.

Alan Fletcher, better known as Karl Kennedy from Neighbours, was such a hit when he came in to promote the panto that he came back a few days later with his guitar for an acoustic session.

Alan Fletcher in costume as Captain Hook for the Peter Pan show at HMT
Alan Fletcher played Captain Hook in the Peter Pan show at HMT in 2008. Image: Jim Irvine/DC Thomson

What’s next for Original 106 Tullos base?

Now, renowned north-east motors firm John Clark has lodged proposals for Noskab House, which is just off the busy Wellington Road.

There are several car showrooms in the area, with a Skoda dealership next door.

An impression of how the Tullos site could soon look, with the Original 106 part demolished
This shows how the Tullos site could soon look, with the Original 106 part demolished. Image: McLaren, Murdoch and Hamilton architects

This new offering would specialise in Seat Cupra motors.

While the offices would be removed, the warehouse would be kept and converted into the showroom.

Noskab House was formerly the home of the offshore firm of that name, but later went on to home firms including electrical equipment firm Dron and Dickson.

The front of the building would be pulled down, while the factory would be left intact. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson
A diagram of the plan for former Original 106 Tullos site
Another look at how the former Original 106 Tullos site could soon look. Image: McLaren, Murdoch and Hamilton architects

Altens recycling centre to rise from the ashes

Nearby, plans to rebuild the fire-hit Altens recycling centre have been approved by Aberdeen City Council.

For the past year, around 80 trucks per month have taken up to 18 tonnes of mixed recycling 300 miles to Hartlepool – the nearest facility that could handle the mixture of waste.

While the rebuild is identical to the original structure, Suez told the Press & Journal they plan to upgrade the site.

Boss Colin Forshaw at the site
Boss Colin Forshaw at the site. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

You can read more about what’s next for the Suez plant here.

To mark the recent anniversary of the catastrophe, we also took an in-depth look at how the blaze unfolded.

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

Stonehaven war memorial

Petrol station plans

Lifeboat station takes step forward

Woodside Dental Practice

Cults pharmacy

Derelict Braemar bridge

Dinnet path latest

Marriott expansion 

Rosemount Community Centre fire escape

Whitecairns Sanctuary

Showroom plans for old Original 106 Tullos base

Altens latest