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Fresh plans to turn Portsoy’s Boyne Hotel into homes and Aberdeen offshore HQ to become three flats

Meanwhile, an Aberdeen gym wants to cut down on electricity costs by installing more than 600 solar panels on its roof.

Plans to turn the Boyne Hotel into homes have been revived.
Plans to turn the Boyne Hotel into homes have been revived. Image: Ben Hendry/Roddie Reid

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

This week’s instalment has a look at a few buildings being put to new use as housing…

We feature fresh plans to turn Portsoy’s closed Boyne Hotel into homes, apartment proposals for an Aberdeen offshore firm’s former HQ and aims to convert a closed charity shop in Macduff.

But first, a historic building in the grounds of an Aberdeenshire attraction could be given a new lease of life…

Ellon Castle Gardens building could be saved from ruin

The volunteers at the 15th century Ellon Castle Gardens have formed new plans to increase its popularity.

It comes after efforts to protect the cherished “cathedral of nature” from vandalism were approved last year.

Ellon Castle Gardens is something of a hidden gem Image: Fiona Leslie Stuartfield

Now there are proposals to repair the Garden House, bringing it back up to scratch for the public to visit.

Papers submitted to Aberdeenshire Council explain that the Garden House is “in poor condition, letting in water and not structurally safe”.

The Garden House, which is in line for improvements. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

They explain: “It is currently used for storage of garden tools.

“But it is hoped to return it back into use as a place to enjoy the gardens, with information and artefacts from the garden and explaining its history to visitors.”

Ellon Castle boasts a collection of sundials and hundreds of Yew trees. Image: DC Thomson

Meanwhile, the group also want to repair some walls of the storied monument itself, and install a new ramp to improve access for wheelchair users.

Two new disabled parking spaces would be created too.

Electric car charging plans at Fetteresso Castle

Speaking of castles, we now turn to some 21st century plans for a 14th century landmark outside Stonehaven.

Fetteresso Castle, which was once owned by the family behind the Pringle knitwear empire, was converted into seven homes in the 1990s.

Fetteresso Castle as it looks today. Image: Northwood

Now William Thomas, who lives in one of the properties, wants permission to install an electric vehicle charging point at the ancient site.

Solar panels to keep costs down at Aberdeen gym

Now we go from electric charging to another eco-friendly initiative, with the owners of an Aberdeen gym keen to cover the roof with more than 600 solar panels.

David Lloyd Gym, on Garthdee Road, wants to “harness renewable energy” to provide a “sustainable power supply solution to the fitness club”.

The David Lloyd Gym in Garthdee

This would make it “self-reliant” when it comes to powering the expensive equipment inside.

Documents sent to the council state: “The development would contribute significantly towards the transition to a low carbon future.”

Another view of the roof, with Garthdee in the background. Image: Simon Walton.

The scheme would cost about £240,000.

It’s part of a cost-cutting project taking place across David Lloyd facilities, with heat pumps installed at its gyms last year.

Have a look at the new solar panels at its Luton venue:

Dons bosses planning another replacement…

Days after sacking manager Barry Robson, Aberdeen FC executives are planning another (less contentious) replacement at Pittodrie…

The club is seeking permission to dismantle a lighting pole damaged in recent storms.

Exposed along the North Sea coast, Pittodrie fell victim to recent windy weather. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

A replacement tower would be erected to cast a glow at the spot near the south stand.

Offshore office could become new Inverurie nursery

Meanwhile, in Inverurie, a new nursery could open up in the former office of an offshore company.

The building could be given a colourful revamp. Image: Google Maps

Blueprints show how the building on Souterford Avenue could be turned into Elle’s Early Learning and Childcare.

The laboratory, workspaces and meeting rooms of the Arnlea Asset Management and Efficiency site could become various types of play area.

The site wouldn’t need any sort of exterior alterations. Image: Google Maps

Chapelton beautician could become nursery too

And another nursery could soon be opening in the growing new town of Chapelton.

The unit at 8-10 Hume Square has been the home of The Lounge beauty parlour.

The Lounge has since relocated. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

In December 2022, Planning Ahead explained that the firm was planning to relocate to the corner of Liddell Place and Quarryline Street.

Now Linda Pirie is wanting to make the most of the space left behind.

There would be four playrooms spread across the ground and first floors, with a separate sleeping room and staff training area.

The Duke of Fife, Linda Pirie owner of the Croft nursery school and Hamish Vernal, Provost of Aberdeenshire, at Hume Square in 2015. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

Ms Pirie, a preschool teacher from Stonehaven with over 25 years of experience, was one of the first to strike a business deal in the community about a decade ago.

She currently runs a nursery on Bunting Place.

Cats Protection branch could become Macduff flat

A former Cats Protection charity shop could be transformed into a new property in the heart of Macduff.

The 6-8 Duff Street site was formerly a maritime museum.

Henry Hollins has put in plans for the unit near the harbour, which has been boarded up for years.

The Cats Protection shop in Macduff as it was. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

The tw0-bedroom proposal was approved before in 2021, but the plans failed to get off the ground within the three-year timeframe granted.

He is now asking for the local authority to bless the plans again.

Former Aberdeen oil office to be split into three flats

Council planning chiefs have paved the way for a Queens Road office building to become three flats.

The old Norwell building at 78 Queens Road. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

The plans, lodged last April, come at a time when new uses are being sought for many vacant office premises in the city’s west end.

Westhill-based Diamond Property Developments is behind the plans for the former Norwell engineering base at 78 Queens Road.

The building is one of many workplaces left empty in the area. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

They will be a mix of two homes with four bedrooms, and a two-bedroom property.

And each comes with its own private garden space.

Decision-makers agreed that any changes to the C-listed building would not affect its historic value.

Well, well, well… What do we have here? Ken Fraser from Norwell takes a look at a surprise find in 2000. Image: DC Thomson

Norwell bosses found an unusual, and strangely fitting, surprise when they moved in at the turn of the millennium…

The firm, responsible for drilling oil wells across the planet, found an old well at the front of the building – which had been covered up for decades.

Boyne Hotel homes plans revived as Portsoy building lies empty

Portsoy’s Boyne Hotel dates back to the 1700s, but it has become a prominent empty building in the picturesque seaside community in recent years.

Documents sent to Aberdeenshire Council say it “particularly flourished during the 20th century prior to the rise of cheap flight holidays”.

The centuries old Boyne Hotel could become homes. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

The 13-bed North Street venue, with a bar and restaurant, is one of several to have closed its doors for good in the last few years.

Back in 2021, its owners admitted there was little hope of anyone ever taking it on as a hotel.

Boyne Hotel homes plans submitted at that time showed how it could become three townhouses.

The building could soon be an impressive pair of houses. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Though these proposals were approved, nothing has yet happened.

And now owner Catherine Johnson has tweaked her vision to bring it back to life.

She now wants to turn it into two townhouses, rather than three.

The Boyne Hotel homes would be just up from the historic harbour. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

‘Boyne Hotel could fall into decay if not turned into homes’

The frontage was made a Category C listed building in 1972.

Architect Nick Brown said the historic building needs to be converted to prevent it from falling into ruin.

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

He said: “Sadly, the hotel function is deemed no longer viable.

“The property has been up for commercial sale for several years, but there has not been any firm interest.

“Conversion is inevitable if the building is not to lie redundant and fall into a
state of disrepair.”

Many have fond memories of the north-east institution. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Take a look inside historic Portsoy harbour buildings left untouched for decades as we look at plans to turn them into thriving destinations. 

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

Ellon Castle Gardens plan

EV plans at Fetteresso Castle

Gym solar panels proposal

Storm-damaged pole at Pittodrie

New Inverurie nursery

Chapelton nursery 

Macduff plans

Queens Road offices

Boyne Hotel homes plan