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Late tycoon’s Bridge of Don yard could become homes and Palm Court to expand outdoor area

Meanwhile, a Broch butcher wants to use a former tattoo parlour to produce pies and pastries.

New Bridge of Don homes feature among our latest plans.
New Bridge of Don homes could be built at Scotstown Moor. Image: Chris Donnan/DC Thomson

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

This week, we feature plans to turn a 30-year-old engineering plant into a four-home development at Bridge of Don.

Elsewhere in Aberdeen, bosses at the Palm Court Hotel want to expand on their outdoor offering by replacing parking spaces with dining tables.

But we start by looking at proposals to grant a derelict Deeside building a new-age lease of life as a house…

Crumbling cottage to be revived as modern Banchory property

Edinburgh-based Roy McNaughton has been given permission to transform a decaying Banchory building into his new Deeside dream home.

Burnhead Cottage, at Raemoir, will now become a two-bedroom home – with a garage and summerhouse built alongside.

The cottage would be brought back to life, with two large bedrooms, while an extension would be built for the sitting room and kitchen.
The cottage would be brought back to life with two large bedrooms, while an extension would be built for the sitting room and kitchen. Image: Ian MacDonald Architecture
The new extension would have huge windows offering expansive views of the countryside.
The new extension would have huge windows offering expansive views of the countryside. Image: MacDonald Architecture
New Banchory home
The home will have some impressive surroundings. Image: Ian MacDonald Architecture

New storage containers for football team – as long as they’re green

Elsewhere in the town, Banchory Football Club has been given permission to keep the storage containers it uses as football changing rooms at King George VI Park.

The group has been training and playing there for decades.

Aberdeenshire Council has now allowed the units to remain there for another 1o years.

The unit has stood the test of time. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

But the parks department asked that they be painted “forest green” to “prevent them from adversely affecting the visually appearance of the park”.

And they pledged to keep an eye on the number of containers there, amid concerns groups are “continually requesting more”, and endangering the amount of open space.

Other groups who use the public space keep their equipment in units at the park. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Green-fingered volunteers to help old Deeside school blossom

Nearby, Deeside charity the Birse Community Trust has been given the go-ahead to do up their base.

The group bought the old Finzean school in 2003, which has something of a dark past.

It was established in 1732 thanks to cash from Reverend Gilbert Ramsay, which he made by selling slaves in Barbados.

Birse Community Trust would later lead a project shedding light on the building’s past, with help from local youngsters.

The south playground of the old Deeside school
The old south playground will be transformed into a community growing space. Image: Arc Architects.

Now they want to give it a bright future.

While the centuries-old buildings have served them well so far, their condition has been “slowly deteriorating”.

Trust members want to upgrade the site to provide a wider range of activities – including a community growing garden and a greenhouse.

The soup kitchen will be turned into a guest house for those running workshops and other artists. Image: Arc Architects.

The former soup kitchen will be revamped to form guest accommodation, while the outside space will be turned into an orchid and wildflower area for workshops.

All of the facilities could be used by other groups as well, including pupils at the adjacent Finzean Primary School.

The complex as seen from above:

The school grounds. Image: Arc Architects

And here is how it could look after the revamp:

The design image shows the new planters, and solar panels on the roof. Image: Arc Architects

Hostel to add more showers

Aaran’s Central Guesthouse, on Aberdeen’s Crown Street, wants to add some more showers for visitors.

The hostel on Crown Street in Aberdeen
The Crown Street building has largely positive reviews online. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

There are currently just three shower rooms for guests, who have to wait their turn before freshening up.

New blueprints show how five extra facilities would be spread across the building.

Palm Court to cater for more outdoor diners

Another Aberdeen hospitality venue seeking to make improvements is the Palm Court Hotel, on Seafield Road.

The Palm Court Hotel
The Palm Court Hotel. Image: Paul Glendell/DC Thomson

Bosses want to extend an outdoor seating area to the side of the popular west end venue.

Glasgow-based owners The Scotsman Group want to put out an extra six tables, which could accommodate about 24 more guests.

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Posted by The Palm Court Hotel on Thursday, 11 August 2022

Blueprints show there are 30 outdoor dining seats there at the moment, so this would almost double the space available.

However, the scheme would mean that some parking spaces next to the Bothy restaurant area are removed.

And council roads bosses are asking for more information about that before they are prepared to endorse the changes.

Jacob Rees Mogg and Ross Thomson outside Palm Court
Jacob Rees Mogg, here with former Tory MP Ross Thomson, gave a speech about why Boris Johnson would be a good prime minister at the Palm Court in 2019. It perhaps hasn’t aged as well as the fine wines on offer there… Image: Heather Fowlie/DC Thomson

New five-bedroom home in Aberdeen

Meanwhile, Aberdeen homeowner Brian Sinclair wants to bulldoze his property to create a new house.

He and his wife are seeking the council’s permission to demolish the existing building on 8 Woodburn Crescent and erect a new one to suit their needs.

A new five-bedroom house would have a private garden, a triple garage and an al fresco dining terrace with panoramic views.

An artist's impression of the Aberdeen home
The house will be build from granite to complement the traditional feel of other nearby developments. Image: Ryden.
An artist's impression of the home
Proposed upper rooms will have panoramic views overlooking Walker Dam. Image: Ryden.
An artist's impression of the large private garden
There will be a large private garden with timber fencing at the back. Image: Ryden.

It would also meet modern eco standards, with an air source heat pump, underfloor heating, Tesla battery storage, Tesla car chargers and triple glazed windows.

Existing granite would be re-used for the front of the house, as per council policy.

New chapter in long history of Longside airfield

Built in the heat of the Second World War, Longside airfield was the launching pad for thousands of vital flights in the battle against Hitler.

Serving as the RAF Peterhead base, it is estimated that around 4,000 personnel passed through the front gates to join British forces on foreign ground.

Mustang III of No65 East India Squadron at Peterhead RAF Station
Mustang III of No65 East India Squadron at Peterhead RAF Station, 1945.

Records suggest the airfield was used as a fighter station operating Hurricane, Spitfire, and Mustang aircraft, and provided protection for eastern convoys.

The base was disbanded in 1945, and most of the original buildings were demolished – including the control tower which survived until 1969.

But several structures, as well as the runways, still remain.

Mustang IVs of No 65 "East India" Squadron at Peterhead
Mustang IVs of No 65 “East India” Squadron at Peterhead with long range auxiliary fuel tanks fitted beneath the wings. These fuel tanks were made of bonded paper for lightness. Image: Aberdeen Journals archive,1945.

The airfield is now home to Buchan Aero Club and North East Aviators, who operate it on behalf of CHC Helicopter.

Independent Oilfield Services (IOS) also owns a pipe yard and several warehouses on the premises.

Don Jack standing next to some small planes
Don Jack, president of Buchan Aero Club. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson.

The company now wants to expand their storage space and build another pipe yard within the airfield.

It would be located off the public highway and not obstruct the landing strips.

The changes would require the patch of land’s official designation to be changed from “airfield” for the first time in almost a century.

Fraserburgh tattoo parlour to be used by baker

On a different – much tastier – note, a former tattoo studio in Fraserburgh could be converted into a production factory for the Bruce of the Broch’s award-winning pies.

The family-run butcher shop and bakery has been serving generations of customers since 1886.

Alistair Bruce of Bruce of the Broch holding a tray of pies
Alistair Bruce of Bruce of the Broch shows off few of his award-winning pies.

They are known for their unconventional recipes – such as turning a traditional Burns supper into a cupcake – and their wide range of top-class savoury pastries.

Those pies seem to have grown so popular that owner Alistair Bruce is now in need of an extra production unit to keep up with demand.

The tattoo studio
The studio, which offered tattoos and microblading treatment, closed in 2021. Image: Google Maps.

Mr Bruce took on the former Painful Pictures tattoo studio on Frithside Street last year to create another base for his business.

The building, which is just round the corner from The Bruce of the Broch shop, will only be used for baking the goods, so don’t expect to see pie fanatics lining up outside.

New homes for vacant Bridge of Don yard started by oil magnate

Developers want to transform a vacant former work yard near Aberdeen’s Scotstown Moor into a plot of four homes, each with “generous” gardens.

The site was last used by the ICR offshore maintenance company, which is now based on Claymore Drive, and Walker Technical Services before that.

Large Bridge of Don hangars which would be demolished to build homes
Large Bridge of Don hangars which would be demolished for the four homes. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Workshops and former offices would be torn down to make way for the properties.

The land was owned by oil tycoon John Langler, who started Walker in 1992 and died last year.

These plans are being driven forward by Brodies, who are the executors of his estate.

John Langler
John “Tiny” Langler died aged 72. Image: DC Thomson

Papers say the Shielhill site offers “uninterrupted views across the countryside”.

And a report from Aurora planning consultants explains that the spot has “degraded in appearance” since being vacated last year.

Previous proposals for 20 flats at the spot have since been severely reconsidered.

The Bridge of Don yard which could become homes
The Bridge of Don yard could become homes. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Mr Langler, a former policeman and honorary consul for Kazakhstan, netted millions when he sold the pipeline repair business in 2009.

The towering figure, who measured 6ft 7in tall, flew to New York in 2007 to encourage Donald Trump to build a golf course on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire.

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

Banchory cottage

Park containersΒ 

Birse Community Trust plans

Guesthouse shower rooms

Palm Court hotel outdoor expansion

New five-bedroom home in Aberdeen

Longside airfield plans

Fraserburgh tattoo parlour

New Bridge of Don homes application

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