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Plea to keep surfing cabin by Aberdeen’s Donmouth as ‘£16k investment’ at risk, while Aberdam needs to control chips smell at Shiprow

Meanwhile, Portlethen cheerleaders have secured a new home after the backing of dozens of parents.

The Scot Surf trailer by the Donmouth in Aberdeen.
The Scot Surf trailer by the Donmouth in Aberdeen. Image: Ben Hendry/Chris Donnan

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

This week’s instalment has a look at the ups and downs of local businesses in Aberdeen.

Aberdam, a Dutch fries start-up, has proven a hit since taking on a spot at Shiprow – but council experts say work is needed to get odours under control.

And Campbell Scott, who runs the Scot Surf watersports venture, is seeking permission to keep a cabin at the Donmouth near Aberdeen beach.

He says he already spent £16,000 on the structure before being told this would be needed.

But we start with a look at some enviable additions to a pair of north-east homes – with an extension for a new games room and a field being turned into a tennis court…

Pool plans tabled at home in Granite City’s west end

Kelly Morrice, who lives on Great Western Road in Aberdeen, has been given permission to turn the attic of her home into a sanctuary to relax and unwind.

The two-and-a-half storey house in the conservation area was sold in March for £440,000.

389 Great Western Road in Aberdeen.
389 Great Western Road in Aberdeen. Image: Google Maps

Papers submitted to Aberdeen City Council explain that the extra space is needed to make way for a games room.

Architects said the extension would not affect the “character” of the house, with no impact on neighbours.

The proposal has now been approved.

A new dormer will need to be built too, as seen here from outside. Image: Tinto Architecture
There would be space for a pool table. Image Tinto Architecture

Kintore couple want to turn field into tennis court

On the outskirts of Kintore, the owners of the Dyce Carriers haulage firm want to enhance their home too.

But their games area will be on a grander scale…

Here’s how the new addition to the property could look. Image: John Wink Design

Jason and Candice Moir want to turn a disused field near their Forest Villa home into a tennis court with its own “pavilion”.

The net could readily be taken down though, with goalposts put up at either end as it doubles as a five-a-side football pitch.

Plenty of tennis fans would love to have this as their garden! Image: John Wink Design

In 2019, Mr and Mrs Moir were given permission to knock down an old house there to build their own four-bedroom home – with its own cinema room and games room.

Derelict steading could be turned into three modern houses

Near Fyvie, a dilapidated steading could soon be converted into three houses.

Adam Reid, of Turriff, has unveiled proposals for the Littleton farm building at Millbrex.

The emblem of the area’s agricultural past will be retained and adapted. Image: Annie Kenyon architects
The weathered Littleton steading. Image: Annie Kenyon architects

Architect Annie Kenyon says the properties would be “an exemplar of low carbon design”, providing the area with “quality, energy efficient contemporary homes”.

Each would come with solar panels, wood burning stoves and equipment to power electric cars.

New Pitsligo stationery shop pencils in plans for signs

Last week, Planning Ahead detailed the closure plans of the Halifax branch on Aberdeen’s Union Street.

While its future remains uncertain, we now turn our attention to another of the north-east’s closed banks – which appears to have a rosier outlook.

We reported on the New Pitsligo closure along with a slew of others seven years ago. Image: Chris Donnan/DC Thomson

The Bank of Scotland in New Pitsligo was mothballed in 2016, but the building has just recently become a village stationery shop.

Sonia Bailey, who runs Stellar Stationery, opened up there on November 11.

The Bank of Scotland in New Pitsligo, seen here in 2010. Image: Google Maps
The new signage proposed for the building. Image: Stellar Stationery

As the historic building is listed, she is now seeking permission for bright purple signs advertising the arts and crafts business.

Huge Cults home approved despite concerns from locals

Plans for a huge home just opposite the Sainsbury’s shop in Cults have been approved

Ardna Ltd has been given the go-ahead for the project at 360 North Deeside Road.

The spot in question. Image: Ardna Ltd

The huge house will occupy a “generous corner plot” at the junction between North Deeside Road and Kirk Brae

Ardna is run by Israeli Sameh Assady, who lives nearby on Hilltop Road.

He says the design for the five-bedroom home “reflects modern family needs”, and has been created to minimise energy use.

Here’s how the large new house will look. Image: S24 Architects

What did the neighbours think?

It has now been approved.

But this came despite complaints from people living nearby.

Anne Stalker said she “wasn’t impressed” with how it looks, blasting the “lack of consideration for existing residents”.

Some neighbours won’t be pleased to see it going ahead. Image: S24 Architects

Fiona Sands said the large house would have a “negative visual impact given the site’s prominent position in the centre of Cults”.

And Henry Tocher concurred that it would be “totally out of keeping with the area”.

Last week, we described how plans for “baby yoga” classes nearby in Cults crumbled when locals complained they could be “too noisy”.

People power secures popular Portlethen dance studio new home

Now for some plans that had no shortage of, well, cheerleaders…

Earlier this year, the The LA Dance and Cheer group revealed its intentions to take over an empty warehouse at the Barclayhill Place industrial estate in Portlethen.

Leaders said the new venue would “allow the business to grow and meet future demands”.

The unit is part of an industrial estate, and leaders needed permission for the change of use. Image: Google Maps

And dozens of backers soon provided a chorus of support.

‘Club should be given every opportunity to grow’

Lizzie Pratt, who has a child that attends, said: “To imagine my child without these classes and the LA family in her life is unthinkable.”

Suzy Chiverrel of Auchnagatt added: “This venue will provide a new home for a thriving cheer, dance and gymnastics club that has a positive effect on all the young people who participate in this growing sport.

“With the activity levels of children a national concern, this hugely popular club should be given every opportunity to grow.”

The unit will now be transformed. Image: Google Maps

Mum’s moving message of support as dancing helps anxious daughter

Nicola Fraser said: “My daughter already dances with LADC and to have this on our doorstep would be brilliant.”

And another mum said the club had helped her own youngster deal with anxiety.

She said: “The club has helped to boost her confidence as she suffers from anxiety.

“By having the gym closer to her grandma’s house this will help her to grow in more confidence, as she will be able to travel alone to the gym.”

With 38 letters of support, Aberdeenshire Council has now rubber-stamped the proposal.

Aberdam given blessing to remain as part of Shiprow revolution

A few months ago, we revealed how the Aberdam chip shop on Shiprow could be at risk.

The foodie haven opened in 2021, with its moreish dishes a key ingredient in transforming the area’s fortunes.

For many, a trip to the Ivy Lodge next door isn’t complete without an order of fries smothered in chicken katsu or topped with crispy halloumi.

Owner David Griffiths inside the disputed Aberdam kitchen when it opened in 2021. Image: Paul Glendell/DC Thomson

Since having to apply for retrospective permission to remain there, council officials have been scrutinising whether it really belongs at the spot.

Environmental health experts would soon declare that the 76-78 Shiprow unit “does not appear” to have suitable ventilation in place “to control cooking odours”.

They warned this is “necessary” for “food hygiene purposes”.

Aberdam on Shiprow. Image: DC Thomson

Ultimately, it meant this was an “unsuitable location” for the business as things were…

Experts drafted in to sniff out any pong problems

Since then, however, Aberdam bosses have commissioned independent studies on the measures they have in place to control noise and smells.

The noise experts recommended a “silencer” be installed at the vents to decrease the chances of its sound reaching the nearest homes.

Aberdam prides itself on serving up decadent dirty burgers and loaded fries. And for many, their aroma is rather inviting.

Meanwhile, the pong boffins behind the “odour imapct assessment” attended to sniff out any problems at Aberdam.

And they listed a series of works needed to get the whiff coming from the unit under control, deeming it a “very high risk” site.

These include another fan above cooking equipment, a canopy of “grease filters”, and improvements to “maintain minimum airflow requirements”.

So what happens now?

Now, the local authority has granted permission for Aberdam to remain on Shiprow – as long as all of the work is carried out.

Thick chunks of halloumi drizzled in pink mayonnaise. Image: Aberdam

On the bright side for fans of the Dutch fries, the papers confirm that Aberdam is in the process of seeking permission for seats outside the venue.

There will be a total of 24 adjacent to the shop and neighbouring Ivy Lodge.

Have you tried any Aberdam meals? Let us know your thoughts in our comments section below

Locals get behind Scot Surf Donmouth cabin plans

The owner of a popular watersports business is seeking permission for a cabin near Aberdeen Beach – after already shelling out £16,000 for it.

The Scot Surf trailer has been parked up at the side of the Donmouth Estuary, where the Don flows into the North Sea.

Paddle-boarding sessions along the river are held from the spot, with enthusiasts gliding past the odd seal on their way towards the Brig o’ Balgownie.

Campbell Scott runs the Scot Surf School. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson
The Scot Surf trailer with the Donmouth in the background. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

While awaiting word on its long-term future, owner Campbell Scott needs official consent for it to remain by the banks for the next 24 months.

He has located it there in advance of traffic around the seafront being restricted as the council’s beach masterplan progresses.

How Aberdeen Beach could look in the future. Image: Aberdeen City Council

Planning documents state that local authority officials agreed the business would be affected by a ban on cars.

He explains that initial permission was given by park rangers and environmental chiefs, with it being “unclear” whether planning permission is needed.

The cabin by the Esplanade. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

‘I’ve already spent thousands on it’

Mr Scott then spent £16,000 on the Scot Surf Donmouth trailer.

And only then did planning officers pay a visit, asking “to what purpose it was there”, and advising that permission would indeed be required.

The trailer is used to store wetsuits, and comes with changing cubicles, lockers, cupboards and benches.

Scot Surf has another base down at the Fittie end of the beach.

The grass around the hut is kept in good condition. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Wave of support for Scot Surf Donmouth base

Since the plans were submitted, some locals have written to Aberdeen City Council asking that they be approved.

Lewis McGill, who lives nearby in Seaton, said: “I think this is a positive for the area, bringing watersports to Aberdeen beach, making it more attractive for visitors.”

Lorna Robertson said she was “happy to support a local business”.

And following discussion at a recent meeting, Seaton and Linksfield Community Council has thrown its weight behind the application.

They say: “All members of the community council are in agreement that this should go ahead.

“We are in support of local businesses.”

New wedding venue given blessing

A few weeks ago, Planning Ahead detailed proposals for a new wedding venue in Aberdeen.

The Stell Road scheme has now been rubber-stamped by council officials, meaning the unassuming storage building could soon be staging romantic extravaganzas.

Higher Calling Flowers and Events will now be able to stage ceremonies. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

The planning department said it would “enhance the vibrancy and vitality of the city centre”.

You can read more in the full round-up here.

And you can see this week’s plans for yourself here:

Extension for Aberdeen games room

Kintore tennis court 

Fyvie steadings 

New Pitsligo shop

Cults home gets go-ahead

Portlethen people power

Aberdam approved

Plans for Scot Surf Donmouth cabin

New wedding venue