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.

West end residents needle council over tattoo parlour plans at historic Aberdeen church and new Stonehaven Tesco Express

Meanwhile there's a new push to lease out the empty Regus offices in the city centre.

Plans to open a tattoo parlour in an old Aberdeen church have been submitted.
Plans to open a tattoo parlour in an old Aberdeen church have been submitted. Image: Clarke Cooper/DC Thomson Date; 02/11/2023

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

This week’s instalment highlights a tattoo artist’s plans to take over space in a former Aberdeen church, since converted into the Carden Studios office complex.

Some neighbours are up in arms about the idea, saying it’s not suitable for the leafy area.

But that’s not the only vacated workplace that might be in line for a new use.

Over in Ellon, fitness fanatics could soon be working out in the former distribution centre of an offshore company.

New gym could be coming to Ellon

First off, we have plans to turn a vacant warehouse in Ellon into a new gym.

The 13 Castle Way property, near the town’s Balmacassie industrial estate, has recently been advertised to rent.

The distribution centre at the Ellon estate has been on offer for some time. Image: Google Maps

It has been used by the Quensh HR consultancy for many years.

The firm, which has another base in Australia, added 11 new employees this year.

Bosses have now put forward the scheme to turn the former distribution centre into a gym, with an extension for toilets, showers and changing rooms.

The gym could breathe new life into the unit. Image: Google Maps

Blueprints indicate it will have a large fitness area, two suites and a pair of “wellbeing rooms”.

It comes as plans for a new sushi takeaway nearby in the town have been submitted to Aberdeenshire Council.

Owner wants to make more of amazing Moray Firth views

Meanwhile, at a scenic spot between Portsoy and Cullen, Peter Albard is seeking permission for an extension at his seaside home.

Creel Cottage, at Sandend, used to be the village’s post office and was sold for £252,000 this summer.

Creel Cottage is perfect for anyone who loves a trip to the beach. Image: Google Maps

It stands out a bit, what with being perched “almost on the seawall”.

Mr Albard, whose address is given as Aberdeen, wants to carry out some changes “to maximise the enjoyment of the house”.

Changes could soon be in store. Image: Google Maps

This would be achieved by enhancing views out across the horizon, and creating an “adaptable space for dining”.

An outside shower would be built too, accessible from a new patio.

The outdoor shower could mean no more grains of sand being trudged indoors after a day on the bay. Image: Richard Slater architects

Architect Richard Slater states: “The existing cottage has some issues with restricted internal space, privacy, access and location.

“But the location is also a benefit, allowing almost direct beach access and amazing views.”

Creel Cottage is the perfect getaway for beach fans. Image: Richard Slater architects
The view from the sitting room and proposed new dining area. Image: Richard Slater architects

Fears new affordable Torry homes could ‘increase crime levels’

Torry Nursery opened in 1937, and closed in 2005 after pupil numbers dropped by 75%.

The Oscar Road building was flattened almost a decade ago, leaving behind a fenced-off patch of wasteland.

The derelict building seen here in 2014. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson
The cleared expanse as it looks today. Image: MLP Homes

Speaking to the Evening Express at the time of the demolition, Torry Community Council said that social housing would “be welcome” at the spot.

And now, that could finally be about to happen.

Here’s how it could look under the new plans. Image: MLP Homes

Developer MLP Homes wants to build 20 affordable houses on the land.

It comes after the council listed the 1.11 acre plot for sale, with an asking price of £375,000.

A design showing the homes on the corner of Oscar Road and Grampian Place. Image: MLP Homes

The affordable homes would be for the Hillcrest Housing Association.

There would be a mix of four, five and one-bedroom properties.

And the local authority’s housing team says they would help “meet housing need and demand”.

The properties would be on Oscar Road. Image: Colin Rennie/DC Thomson.

Neighbour raises alarm about increase in trouble

But Lindsay Robertson, who lives nearby on Grampian Place, is against the scheme.

In her letter of objection to the council, she warns of an “increase in potential crime in the area, like break-ins and vandalism”.

The objector also has concerns about more accidents at the junction. Image: MLP Homes

The resident is also worried about the location next to the “notorious” junction between Oscar Road and Grampian Place and fears foxes who live there will be displaced.

In their official response, police say the location is a “medium crime area”.

Police at a crash on Oscar Road earlier this year. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

Constable Mark Irvine explains that the main crimes reported there in the last year are:

  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Drugs
  • Assault
  • Theft
  • House-breaking
  • Vandalism
  • Fraud

He adds: “Access to the site during construction would be of concern, given it is a medium crime area and ranks highly in the SIMD (Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation) particularly for crime.

“Due consideration should be given to crime reduction measures during the
construction phase to ensure that goods and materials are not subject to theft.”

Police say caution should be taken to keep equipment safe during construction. Image: MLP Homes

And he wants designers to liaise with local officers as they put the plans together, “given the future potential for increased police activity in and around the area”.

Martial arts club could take over former Cove butchers

Meet The Meat, a butchery and fine food store in Cove, has been lying empty since serving its final customers last summer.

Management blamed “sweeping and drastic changes to their trading environment” as they slammed the door shut for the final time.

Butcher David O’Neill outside the shop in 2020. Image: Paul Glendell/DC Thomson

After more than a year vacant, the sports club next door has now kicked off takeover plans…

And it could soon be going from pork chops to karate chops.

Aberdeen Martial Arts Academy wants to expand into the vacant unit at 79 Charleston Road North.

The outlet was able to keep going through Covid. Image: Paul Glendell/DC Thomson

Papers sent to Aberdeen City Council describe the group as a “thriving centre of martial arts”, with a “strong commitment to top-notch instruction”.

Leaders say more and more kids want to join, with the Covid pandemic underlining the importance of physical activity.

The club could soon be expanding its footprint. Image: Google Maps

‘More space essential as popularity booms’

Planning papers say: “Our kids’ classes have become extremely popular.

“Additional floor space is essential to cater to our students’ evolving training needs, ensuring a secure and more comfortable training environment.”

The units are part of a new development to the south of Aberdeen. Image: Google Maps

The extension would also mean dedicated programmes could be crafted for participants fans of all abilities, including physically challenged competitors.

Leaders add: “As we embark on this expansion, we are not simply acquiring more space, we are making a lasting investment in the future of our students.”

Owners Scotia Homes have confirmed that no other interested parties have come forward.

Stonehaven Co-op ‘monopoly’ ended by new Tesco Express

Further south, Stonehaven residents are backing Tesco’s aims to end the Co-op’s “monopoly” in the Mearns town.

The Kirkton Road shop and petrol station currently run by the Co-op was bought by Asda in October last year.

The Co-op station is going through some changes. Image: Google Maps

They promptly put it up for sale.

And now it looks like Tesco is about to cut the number of Co-op outlets in the coastal town down from four to three.

Recently, plans for new signage gave an insight into its future under the auspices of the UK’s biggest supermarket chain.

And blueprints indicate it would also have a Post Office.

Here’s how the shop would look. Image: Tesco

How will petrol station change?

And now plans for a replacement petrol station at the Stonehaven spot have been lodged too.

Tesco wants permission for two new 60,000 litre fuel tanks, following the removal of the tanks already there.

New parking spaces would be created at the roadside, with new pumps and an upgraded canopy.

Various alterations are proposed. Image: Google Maps

‘Make it happen!’

Residents are urging Aberdeenshire Council to back the plans, keen to have more grocery options.

Andy Taylor, who lives on Highfield Way on Stonehaven, said it was “great to see investment in the community and an alternative choice for shopping ending
the Co-op monopoly on pricing”.

Residents are keen to welcome the Tesco. Image: Yui Mok/PA Wire

He added: “Stonehaven needs healthy competition, both for fuel and groceries.”

And Liam Davidson added: “Stonehaven needs this change. Make it happen folks!”

Work on a new Morrisons in the town is also under way.

Barber plans new shop in Ballater

Aboyne barber Stephen Edgar is hoping to branch out by turning his shed into a new chop shop in Ballater.

He has run Steve’s Barbers at Aboyne’s Station Square for years.

The barbershop in Aboyne. Image: Google Maps

Mr Edgar and wife Lynn bought the Celicall Guesthouse on Braemar Road in the nearby village last April, including the workshop in the garden.

The six-bedroom venue was advertised for about £300,000.

Documents sent to Aberdeenshire Council explain that the barber helps out at the B&B, but is typically free by 9.45am every day.

The shed could soon get a makeover of its own. Image: Stephen Edgar

So he wants to clear out part of the outbuilding, which is being used for storage, to start offering haircuts.

The barbershop would open from 10.15am to 5.15pm five days a week, closing on Wednesday and Sunday.

It would just cater to one customer at a time.

The building is just across from the historic railway station at the heart of the village. Image: Google Maps

Mr Edgar explains: “My wife runs guesthouse and I help in mornings till about 9.45am (guests have usually left by this time).

“I would then run my barbershop from the workshop as I previously have done with my shop in Aboyne.”

Hard times attracting buyer for another Royal Deeside guesthouse

Meanwhile, a few miles away, the owners of the Creag Meggan bed and breakfast at Bridge of Gairn want to turn it into a house.

The bed and breakfast has been run by the same couple for 28 years. Image: Gerry Robb architects

Rob and Alison Bergman have run the seven-bedroom guesthouse since 1995.

They are now looking to retire, and have spent months trying to sell the business.

The dining room. Image: Gerry Robb architects

ASPC has it on sale for almost £600,000.

Their architects explain: “Unfortunately there has been no offers or noted interest for the property.

“Due to the lack of interest, the applicant is seeking permission for a change of use to allow the entire property to be used as a private home.”

This could soon be a large home. Image: Gerry Robb architects

Regus House takeover could bring more workers into city centre

Earlier this year, Aberdeen’s troubled Bon Accord Centre was snapped up by a new owner.

The empty Regus House co-working complex, on the corner of the Gallowgate and Berry Street, came as part of the deal.

Regus House at 1 Berry Street. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

Now fresh plans have been lodged in a bid to lure in tenants under a new operator.

And some work is already taking place on reconfiguring the interior.

Work is taking place, with access forbidden while builders are inside. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Estate agents are offering up the 25,280 sq ft workplace, which has three upper floors.

It comes with 50 parking spaces.

The complex is available as a whole but they say “consideration will be given” to leases on floor by floor basis.

The entrance on a rainy November afternoon. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Regus, a flexible workspace provider, has operated from the site for many years.

But it’s now being taken over by HQ, a similar outfit with locations across the world.

A design image showing the proposed new signage for the company. Image: Elmtree signs

Its website states: “HQ is home to everyone from major businesses to freelancers.

“Whether you need workspace for one or 1,000 people, HQ’s flexible terms and simple pricing ensure it works for you.”

This summer, plans to turn an abandoned warehouse nearby on Aberdeen’s Littlejohn Street into modern offices were approved by the council.

West end tattoo parlour plans face fight from Aberdeen residents

Tattooist Jowita Wilczynska is facing a fight from locals over plans to open a new parlour in Aberdeen’s west end.

She wants to take on space in the former Melville Carden Church at the corner of Carden Place and Albert Street.

The B-listed building, with its towering spire, was built in 1882 but has been offices since 1990.

The artist would like to ply her trade from unoccupied space on the ground floor.

The former Melville Carden Place church. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Why are people against new west end tattoo parlour?

However, her plans to move into Carden Studios have come under fire from residents – who are now needling the council to throw them out.

Christopher Simpson says it will be “no enhancement of the area”.

While a Mr R Stewart, from George Street, said the parlour would be “totally out of character”.

He adds: “Aberdeen is over subscribed with tattoo parlours as it is.”

The parlour would open in the rear of the building. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

And Neil Carr, of Osbourne Place, fears the development could worsen parking problems.

He said: “This would add strain to the already over-subscribed parking in the area.

“Currently as a resident I am parking hundreds of metres away from my family home.”

Do you think the tattoo parlour plans should be approved? Let us know in our comments section below

Aberdeen church tattoo plans could clash with ‘historical features’

Stephen Diplock, who lives at 8 Carden Place, argues that planning policy dictates that old office spaces in Aberdeen’s west end should be turned into homes.

He adds: “The installation of a tattoo studio could introduce increased traffic, heightened parking demands and noise.

“Necessary alterations for establishing a tattoo studio, including signage and exterior changes, may not be congruent with the area’s distinctive historical and architectural features.”

The spire of Melville-Carden Place Church on the right as it looked in September 1954. Image: DC Thomson

The council will decide on the proposal in due course.

Elsewhere in Aberdeen, plans for a new George Street slots arcade have now been approved – despite complaints from neighbours. Read all about it here.

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

Ellon gym

Sandend proposal

Torry affordable homes

Cove martial arts club plans

Stonehaven Tesco Express petrol station

Ballater barber

Bridge of Gairn guesthouse

Regus House changes

Aberdeen church tattoo plans lodged