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Pizza parlour planned in Dinnet while TWO new cake shops could be coming to Aberdeen

Meanwhile, a new Stonehaven nursery could ease the "isolation" of families with children who have additional support needs.

Pizza parlour plans could breathe new life into Dinnet.
Pizza parlour plans could breathe new life into Dinnet. Image: Google Maps/ Roddie Reid

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

Our Christmas Day instalment has plenty of treats to unwrap – especially for north-east foodies.

Dinnet pizza plans are being formed as developers want the closed village shop to rise from the ashes, while proposals for two cake shops are being cooked up in Aberdeen.

But before we get stuck into those, an altogether healthier proposal has been approved in Peterhead.

New Peterhead gym to open in abandoned office complex

Keith House, a disused office block on Peterhead’s Seagate, could soon become a thumping hive of activity with sweaty spin sessions and sinew-straining weightlifting as it becomes the town’s newest gym.

The scheme was unveiled in Planning Ahead in June, but has taken a few months while boffins puzzle over whether it might be too noisy.

The Seagate building is just off the Blue Toon’s harbour. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

In 1975, the building was created as government offices, but the 13,022sq ft complex was put on the market for £250,000 in 2021.

Developers will christen the seaside venue the Harbour Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centre as their plans to transform the ground and first floors take shape.

The gym will occupy just part of the massive building. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Offices would be taken apart with a studio/meeting room and weights hall on the bottom level. There would also be a “nutrition bar” and vending machines.

However, planners had warned that any “nuisance” noise would see the proposals binned.

It was thought that the sort of adrenaline-pumping tunes used to get fitness fanatics into the zone could disturb neighbours…

Experts turned to salsa lessons to judge noisiness

With that in mind, independent noise experts were drafted in a few months ago to perform a study.

Charlie Fleming Associates described their methods as they sought to see if lively music could disturb the flat next door.

Since the gym doesn’t exist yet, they used the same sound levels measured during a salsa dance class in Cuba Norte in Edinburgh as the “source level”.

This was deemed a decent stand-in for the sound of the spin bike studio in the gym, and the Latin rhythms were indeed undetectable at the nearest property.

Other tests concluded that most noise from the gym would be “well within permitted levels”, with work suggested to dim the sound from some machinery.

Keith House in Peterhead. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Any objections have now been dropped, and the council has rubber-stamped the transformation.

New Stonehaven nursery to ease ‘isolation’ of ASN families

Over in Stonehaven, a nursery for children with additional support needs (ASN) could be built.

The plans have been put forward by Antares Property Development, run by Laurencekirk’s Linda Cross.

It would be created at Coneyhatch Farm just off the B979 road between the town and Netherley.

The nursery would be built down this track just off the Slug Road. Image: Google Maps

Papers state their ambitions to provide a “high standard early learning and childcare facility” specifically for local ASN children.

To be known as OaKley Play and Life-Skills Centre, it would boast a mix of indoor and outdoor learning.

Here’s how the nursery would look. Image: Inspire Design

‘There’s nothing else in north-east like this’

The documents explain: “OaKley was born from the isolation which many families experience once their children are diagnosed.

“Providing resource and support, they hope to ease the burden for families and
provide a safe and interactive learning experience.

“There is no other facility in the north-east which can offer such a customised service, and with many families in the area seeking support.”

The nursery is expected to have 15 staff with a maximum of 45 children.

Coneyhatch Farm has had a variety of industrial uses over recent years. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

Baker plans to take over John Street tattoo parlour

Now we move on to the first of our cake-based planning applications…

And it’s one that has already got a lot of support.

Candy’s Dream Cake Ltd has earmarked the old Signature Skin Art tattoo parlour on John Street for their new emporium.

The former tattoo parlour on John Street. Image: Google Maps

It would be both a bakery and cafe, with visitors able to enjoy cakes, traybakes and hot drinks inside – while boxes of cupcakes and lavishly decorated birthday cakes could be collected.

The cosy cafe would have three tables and a maximum of 12 diners at any one time.

The unit as it looks today. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Cake shop would ‘boost Aberdeen city centre’

Architects say the plans will make “a significantly positive contribution to the vitality and viability of the city centre”.

They add: “There is evidence of nationwide trends whereby people are doing more online shopping and visiting out-of-town outlets more frequently.

“Simultaneously the demand for food and drink uses in city centres has increased as people have a desire to socialise again following the pandemic.”

The John Street spot could soon be a favourite haunt for those with a sweet tooth. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

It could also benefit from plans to build a huge student flats complex just along John Street.

And it comes amid major aims to revive neighbouring George Street with its own “mini masterplan”.

Plenty fans of Candy’s Dream Cake are backing the move from social media into their own bricks and mortar premises.

There are hopes it could be a hit with students from the nearby college, seen here in the background. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Hoi Chon Leong, from Cults (who is also listed as a director of the company), said: “The city is in dire need of business given how damaging the constantly closing businesses around the area.

“I believe this shop will bring in great amounts of interest to the area.

“It is in front of NESCol, so it’s in a perfect location to attract locals after school time.”

And Dr Vivian Tu said it would boost “cultural diversity”.

Cake shop plans for closed Co-op

The closed Co-op shop, latterly a McColls, on Aberdeen’s Holburn Street could be given a new lease of life.

The building was the McGregor’s Self Service grocery shop from 1964, and an Alldays in the late 1980s and 1990s.

The grand opening at 219 Holburn Street was marked with some special offers – with nostalgic favourites like Creamola being discounted! Image: British Newspaper Archive

And when the shop closed in 1988, Mr McGregor paid for a heartfelt public notice in our pages thanking staff and customers: 

Image: British Newspaper Archive

It comes as the store, next to the Holburn Bar, has lain empty and advertised to let for about four years.

The building has since been marketed to rent for £23,000 per year.

The old Co-op seen here in 2018. Image: Google Maps
Will plans to revive the eyesore get the green light? Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Now the new owners, Westhill-based Dimbim Properties, think they have the perfect recipe to bring it back…

Bosses want to divide the former grocery shop into three separate units.

Cake fans could soon be spoiled for choice if the pair of empty shops are brought back to life. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

One would be occupied by Dimbim director Ismail Sikiru as a new Aberdeen cake shop.

The other pair would be let on the open market, with the possibility of being revived as cafes or restaurants.

However, council waste officials are objecting to the plans.

There will need to be a separate bin store created for the cake shop for it to go ahead.

Holburn Street guesthouse gives up the ghost

At the weekend, there was a fresh reminder of the challenges the local hospitality industry is up against when the Dyce Marriott closed.

The Aberdeen guesthouse has been a mainstay for some time. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

And now, a separate Aberdeen venue on Holburn Street is poised to close.

The Jurayne Guesthouse could be turned back into a home, though this is because the owners “priorities have changed” in recent years rather than due to dwindling trade.

The premises has seven bedrooms, along with a dining area on the ground floor.

Dinnet pizza plans heat up as village shop could be resurrected

Proposals to transform an old antiques shop into a Dinnet pizza parlour have been submitted to Aberdeenshire Council.

The property in question was the old Dinnet General Store, before becoming the Auld Alliance antiques outlet.

The shop is at a prominent spot in the small village. Image: Moxon architects
The village store as it looked in past times. Image: Moxon architects

Now applicant Ben Addy, from Collie Developments, wants to refurbish the building.

Under the plans, it would become a general store once again, but with a pizzeria to the rear.

A two-bedroom rental property would be created upstairs, along with a self-catering “bothy” and a similar cottage for tourists.

The pizza plans are heating up. Image: Moxon architects

Who is Ben Addy?

The applicant, Mr Addy, established the local Moxon architecture firm in 2004.

As a designer, he has invented a special type of overhead power mast for railways and sculpted a drinking fountain now found in most of London’s royal parks.

Ben Addy, director of Moxon Architects, also worked on the Invercauld Arms redevelopment project before forming these Dinnet pizza plans. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Dinnet pizza plans will ‘bring only shop in the village back to life’

The shop, which is at the junction of the A97 and A93 trunk routes, closed about three years ago.

Since then, there has been no retail offering in the village between Aboyne and Ballater.

Storage space upstairs would be turned into the two-bedroom flat, to be used by restaurant staff.

The adjacent car park could be used by customers. Image: Google Maps

Do you want to see the plans come to life? Let us know in our comments section below

Documents sent to the council say the Dinnet pizza plans, with the accompanying shop, will breathe new life into the village.

They state: “The proposals will significantly improve the appearance of what is currently a rapidly deteriorating complex of buildings through careful renovation.

“The proposals entail the activation of the most important (if not the only)
retail premises in the village with an offer that is relevant to local, passing
and tourist trade.”

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

Peterhead gym approved

Stonehaven nursery

John Street cakes

Holburn Street cake shop

Guesthouse becoming home

Dinnet pizza plans lodged