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Plans for ‘innovative and iconic’ Inverurie crematorium to reduce ‘conveyer belt’ rush across north-east

Garden centre boss Fraser Milne has submitted designs for the proposed facility, which he says is badly needed in the area.

A new crematorium could be built outside Inverurie near Daviot.
A new crematorium could be built outside Inverurie near Daviot. Image: McWilliam Lippe architects

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

This week’s instalment features plans for a new Inverurie crematorium, with more and more people said to be preferring this option over burial.

Architects helping local garden centre boss Fraser Milne with the scheme say there aren’t enough facilities to meet demand – creating a “conveyer belt perception”.

Elsewhere, a Deeside couple inspired by their family’s experience of Parkinson’s want to open accessible holiday lodges on their farm.

Unused Carden Place office to be turned into house

We begin with an application continuing a trend in the west end of Aberdeen, as another former office could be turned into a new home.

Shamina Khatun wants to convert 53 Carden Place, which is the old premises of Create Financial Solutions.

Aberdeen’s Carden Place is lined with old office buildings. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

The financial planner is now based at a new office complex between Aberdeen and Portlethen.

Last year, similar plans next door at 55 Carden Place were approved.

Creative Solutions is no longer based in the building. Image: Google Maps

Architect office to become coastal dream home

Last month, Planning Ahead revealed proposals to transform a former architect office into a dream home.

The home could be perfect for any fans of the seaside. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

The 38 Donmouth Road address was built as a radar school in 1961, and latterly served as the home of David Murray Associates.

Bosses put in the transformation plans after embracing remote working during Covid, meaning they no longer need their 30-year-old base.

The woman who lives at number 36 voiced some concerns. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

And now council planners have had their say, rubber-stamping the change.

The officials waved away the the worries of a neighbour, who feared the building might have to be demolished to make way for a house.

The home would have stunning views. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

They said the floorspace and large windows could make the building ideal for conversion just as it is.

And they agreed that a “well-screened” space at the rear would make an perfect private garden.

Just desserts? Pudding parlour could soon branch out with expansion

The team behind a dessert parlour in Aberdeen city centre are looking to expand.

Mohamad Dured Alhalabe wants to sell more than just the sweet treats currently on offer at the Daily Dose outlet.

Bridge Street has been in the news lately, with new bus gates restricting traffic on the street. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

It sells the likes of ice cream, waffles, cookies and pancakes.

Now, plans have been lodged to turn it into more of a restaurant.

The Daily Dose cafe will soon be selling more than just desserts if the plans are approved. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

This would mean selling hot food, and installing a commercial kitchen.

An air filter would be installed on the street-facing window “to ensure zero noise or smell disruption for our neighbors”.

The building is owned by the McCalls kilt company, which has its shop nearby. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Plans for modern Mintlaw home

Helen Galley aims to build a modern home at Fetterangus, just outside Mintlaw.

As well as various mod cons, there would also be a 30ft polytunnel in the back garden.

The proposed development is west of Fetterangus, among the Cairnorchies hamlet. Image: Baxter Design Company

Concept images show how the distinctive “low carbon” property would look, with impressive views across the countryside.

The home would have solar panels, battery storage and “high levels of insulation” to “minimise energy requirements”.

There would be a master bedroom, office, music area and library on the ground floor. There would be another bedroom and a bedroom/sewing room on the upper floor. Image: Baxter Design Company
The home would look unique. Image: Baxter Design Company

Derelict Aberchireder shop could be turned into home

Meanwhile, in Aberchirder, the owners of 8 and 9 The Square want to breathe new life into the buildings.

The derelict former shop and home there could be done up into two new properties in the heart of the village.

A wooden board at the old home has been given a bit of an artistic makeover in the last few years. Image: Google Maps
Here is how the empty shop unit looks. Image: Google Maps

The boarded-up old shop once belonged to gas specialist Peter Lawrence but has been empty for more than 15 years.

Papers sent to Aberdeenshire Council explain how both addresses are “in a state of disrepair”.

The Square as seen in the mid-1970s. Image: DC Thomson

Number 8 had been a four-bedroom home, also using the space above the old shop next door as bedrooms.

Under the new proposals, the former shopfloor would become a new lounge and kitchen, with the rooms upstairs attached.

If Banff-based Odmo Property Ltd are granted permission, works would be carried out to create a pair of three-bedroom homes.

The house has been abandoned for some time. Image: Google Maps

Parkinson’s pain inspires disabled holiday lodge plan in Deeside

In Deeside, a farming couple are looking to diversify to keep their business alive.

The Campbells have owned Colliestown Farm, between Torphins and Lumphanan, since 1991 and already run a kennels from the spot.

The farm is at a scenic spot in the countryside. Image: Google Maps

They now want to “supplement and diversify” their income with a four-bedroom holiday lodge on what is deemed to be the “least productive” piece of land they own.

The pair say the picturesque part of the north-east is in dire need of wheelchair-accessible tourist accommodation, and they aim to fill this gap in the market.

Here is how the holiday lodge would be laid out. Image: Banchory Business Centre

It’s said they have “several friends who prefer not to visit or holiday” in the locale for that reason.

And they say their own family experience of early onset Parkinson’s “has highlighted the inaccessibility of our own farmhouse for disabled visitors”.

‘We have to send people as far away as Westhill’

Papers sent to Aberdeenshire Council explain: “Our experience of researching and advising friends and family of locally available holiday accommodation is that we are often required to recommend accommodation as far away as Elrick and Westhill.

“This is due to the scarcity of bedspace availability, and in particular lack of disabled accessible accommodation in our local area.”

Their accommodation would be “fully disabled accessible, with no steps from exterior to

And the couple would do their bit to support the local tourism economy by promoting the golf, fishing, hillwalking, watersports and whisky-related activities available nearby.

Historic attractions like the Peel Ring of Lumphanan would be highlighted. Image: DC Thomson
And Castle Fraser isn’t too far away. Image: Shutterstock

Last year, Aberdeenshire planners paved the way for an MND-friendly holiday let near Alford.

Farming couple Alan and Jane Craik said special accommodation was in desperate need.

New crematorium planned for outskirts of Inverurie

The owner of Inverurie Garden Centre, Fraser Milne, has unveiled plans for a new crematorium outside the town.

Mr Milne has majority owned the business, with its own machinery shop and cafe, since 1993.

Inverurie Garden Centre. Image: Google Maps

Now, papers sent to Aberdeenshire Council explain his plans to branch out with a new and much-needed venture…

The facility would be created at Mains of Glack, just south of Daviot.

There would be a crematorium, car park and landscaping there.

The rural location would be a selling point of the venue. Image: McWilliam Lippe architects
The crematorium would be surrounded with trees. Image: McWilliam Lippe architects

Talks between Mr Milne and the council go back almost a year, and locals had their say during public events at Daviot Hall last year.

The entire site would cover 4.5 hectares, and papers sent to the council explain the need for it as others in the region “struggle with demand”.

New Inverurie crematorium would ‘create competition and drive down price’

The documents state: “Hazlehead struggles with demand and Buckie is some considerable distance from even the northern boundary of Aberdeenshire.

“Baldarroch at Crathes mainly caters for the southern and western parts of Aberdeenshire.”

The documents reference recent plans for a Chapelton crematorium, which were backed by Aberdeenshire Council last year.

The Baldarroch Chapel and Crematorium in Crathes became the first crematorium in Aberdeenshire in 2016. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

McWilliam Lippe architects also highlight “difficulties for new companies to enter the market”, with strict planning rules and fixed costs.

They add: “Several crematoria in an area will also help competition and drive down price.”

The Inverurie crematorium would have a sedum roof to blend in with the countryside. Image: McWilliam Lippe architects
The building would have an eye-catching design. Image: McWilliam Lippe architects

And they say the Mains of Glack location was selected due to its “quietness and seclusion”, with a view out towards Bennachie.

The distinctive building has been designed to help encourage the idea of “celebrating someone’s life”.

McWilliam Lippe architects have made a “3D flythrough” video:

Local undertaker helped to inform Inverurie crematorium plans

Mr Milne has talked with a local funeral director to shape the plans, who has offered tips on the operation and design of crematoriums.

The papers explain that there has been a shift in society, moving away from burial to cremations – with 60% of people now preferring the latter.

The interior of the Inverurie crematorium planned
There would be views out towards Bennachie. Image: McWilliam Lippe architects

Architects add that Aberdeen’s Hazlehead facility “has an unfortunate ‘conveyor belt’ perception, particularly at the East Chapel”.

They continue: “This is compounded by the constant demand for cremations that cannot be fulfilled quickly enough with long waits of often over two weeks for a service.

“Although Baldarroch at Crathes has provided an additional facility, there is clearly still a huge demand as there can still be a wait of over two weeks for a service here.”

The Inverurie crematorium would be on the outskirts of the town. Image: McWilliam Lippe architects

An electric cremator would be used, which could be powered by solar panels.

McWilliam Lippe conclude: “It is an innovative and iconic building which will nestle into the landscape and which will undoubtedly become a focal point in the local community.

“The location, building and fine views of Bennachie will provide all you would expect and more in terms of design to ensure life and death can be celebrated in the most appropriate and sympathetic way.”

There would be a hall for mourners to remember the lives of their loved ones. Image: McWilliam Lippe architects

What do you think of the crematorium plans? Let us know in our comments section below

Bruce Millers plans approved as fresh future could beckon

Finally, we have a development that could be music to the ears of anyone hoping to see the old Bruce Millers shop in Aberdeen given a new lease of life.

The Union Street music store closed 13 years ago. It has been empty ever since.

Fresh Bruce Millers plans have been submitted.
Time for a change? Fresh Bruce Millers plans have been approved. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

Local hospitality firm PB Devco, which owns The Howff pub under the store and the Motif beer garden to its rear, lodged proposals for the unit last December.

Bosses wanted permission to clear it out, making it “accessible”.

Blueprints indicated this is for a “potential retail or commercial use” in the future, but management did not go into detail on its future.

The Motif venue was built to the rear of the old music shop. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

The designs say new ventilation grills will be created to “allow the retail unit to be
back in use”.

Aberdeen City Council has now granted the work permission, which could be the beginning of a fresh chapter for the site.

You can keep track of the closed units in Aberdeen city centre with our tracker.

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

Carden Place office

Architect office conversion approved

Bridge Street cafe

Modern Mintlaw home

Aberchirder shop

Torphins holiday let 

Inverurie crematorium proposal

Bruce Millers changes approved