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Old dairy transformed under Altens ETZ plan, homes for Johnshaven mill and new Torry cafe

This week's round-up features various schemes from all over the north-east.

Plans for the old Muller/Wiseman dairy site have been rubber-stamped.
ETZ plans for the old Muller/Wiseman dairy site at Altens have been rubber-stamped. Image: Clarke Cooper/DC Thomson

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

This week’s instalment comes as work begins on the demolition of an Aberdeen landmark – with wrecking crews starting to tear apart the famous Shell HQ.

But while the city’s energy sector bids farewell to one significant site, work is poised to start on another.

Nearby at Altens, plans to turn an old Muller dairy building into a new ETZ training facility have been approved.

And it will even feature a hydrogen train inside, refurbished to serve as study space!

Elsewhere, a new cafe could soon open in Torry, and a Turriff couple want to build a holiday lodge on an old tennis court…

Aberdeen cake shop owner wants its name up in lights

We start with some good news for anyone in Aberdeen with a sweet tooth.

Plans for a new cake shop on John Street, just off George Street, have been approved by the council.

The cake shop will open in a former tattoo parlour. Image: Ben Hendry/DC Thomson

And now the applicant is surging forward, coming up with designs for signage which reveal it will be known as Candy’s Dream Cake.

Although consent has been given for the store, separate permission is needed for the glowing neon additions.

This is how the eye-catching sign would look. Image: Candy’s Dream Cake
Here is a design picture showing how the signage would look on the building. Image: Candy’s Dream Cake

The scheme previously featured in our food-themed Christmas Day round-up.

We revealed how fans of Candy’s Dream Cake rallied to support the move from social media into their own bricks and mortar premises.

Shortbread kingpins need a bigger factory amid sweet success

Now we go from cake to shortbread, as Dean’s of Huntly wants to extend a part of its base in Huntly.

The firm is producing more of the Scottish specialty. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

Bosses want to expand a warehouse and distribution unit just off the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road.

It comes as the brand becomes ever more globally popular.

The warehouse needs to expand. Image: Google Maps
The dark grey area shows the scale of the extension. Image: John Wink architects

As well as selling its buttery Scottish staples across the nation, Dean’s now ships shortbread to China, India, the USA and all over Europe.

And Dinnet pizza plans are heating up…

Fresh building documents sent to Aberdeenshire Council confirm the cost of creating a new village store and pizzeria in Dinnet.

The price of transforming the Auld Alliance Antiques shop is estimated at £236,000.

The old antique shop has been falling into decline since closing. Image: Google Maps

Plans for the spot just off the A93 Aberdeen to Braemar road were lodged late last year by local architect Ben Addy. 

The antique shop, formerly a general store, closed about three years ago.

Since then, there has been no retail offering in the village between Aboyne and Ballater, and locals are keen to see this change.

‘This will save quite some journeys for a pint of milk!’

Two nearby neighbours have backed the plans.

Writing to the council, Kirsten Jensen said: “Aside from seeing the building not being used and potentially going into further ruin, we welcome a general store, as well as a form of restaurant/gathering place.

“This will save quite some journeys for a pint of milk… Or a tossing of the coin as to who is driving to go for a meal out!”

It would be the only corner shop for miles around. Image: Moxon architects

And Hawthorn Roberts, who lives next door, added: “The shop has been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair over the years and it can only be a good thing that it is brought back to life.”

But as her living room shares a wall with the pizzeria, she is seeking assurances there will be appropriate sound-proofing in place.

The next door neighbour doesn’t want to be bothered by any clanking of cutlery from the diner next door. Image: Google Maps

Could old builders yard become new Inverurie car wash?

Businessman Ilim Tanyelli wants to turn a closed Inverurie builders yard into a new car wash.

The site at the corner of St Andrews Gardens and Glebe Road has been vacant for a few months.

The yard belonged to John Rhind Ltd. Image: Google Maps

Papers explain that the cars would be washed one at a time and then taken inside the building there for valeting.

It would have three or four members of staff, and open from 9am to 5.30pm every day.

Could a car wash benefit local businesses? Image: Google Maps

A few days ago, the P&J reported on plans for a new car wash in the centre of Ellon being approved.

Local councillors suggested people getting their cars valeted might be tempted to spend some time (and money) in the town centre.

New homes in the works for site of derelict Johnshaven mill

Anyone who watched a recent BBC documentary about Johnshaven may have found themselves longing to live in the coastal gem.

Now, developers are working on plans to create three new houses at the Mearns community’s Old Brotherton Mill.

It’s an important site in the village’s history, dating back to when Johnshaven punched well above its weight as an industrial powerhouse in the early 20th century.

In 1897, The P&J reported on a contractor being appointed to build the mill. Image: British Newspaper Archive
In 1914, there was trouble at the mill when “a girl worker” refused orders. The Mearns Leader suggested rebellious employees had been “spoiled, like children, by the union”. It was a different time. Image: British Newspaper Archive

The steam-powered flax-spinning mill transformed the industrial village when it opened in 1898, and employed 80 people as the linen industry boomed.

However, long-term decline followed the First World War and the mill’s frames came to a stop in 1938, the village textile industry with it.

In 1930, The Press and Journal announced that Inverbervie’s Provost Burness had bought the business. Image: British Newspaper Archive

Almost a century on, a council study lists the derelict spot among a few sites which “detract from” the character of the historic fishing village.

Another was the old council depot next to the sea, which has since been earmarked for development as a new dream home.

There remain some old buildings on the site. Image: AB Roger and Young architects

What are the new plans?

St Cyrus-based Keiken Properties are now hoping for similar success with their housing plans at the Old Brotherton Mill.

In 2022, the site was made safe with the collapsing roofs and crumbling masonry removed.

The patch of land on the way into the village. Image: AB Roger and Young architects
Here’s how it could look if the proposals are approved. Image: AB Roger and Young architects

Architects say: “The existing buildings on site are in a dilapidated state and have been redundant for some time.

“The site occupies a large space and has been a deteriorating eyesore for local people passing by and neighbouring residents who overlook the site.

“The proposals seek to regenerate this area with the introduction of three beautiful new family homes.”

Turriff tennis court could become holiday lodge

Tim and Sofia Ray run their own travel company, specialising in garden tours all over the UK, from a peaceful spot outside Turriff.

They now want to improve their own surroundings, while creating a two-bedroom holiday lodge on the site of an old tennis court.

And it could be designed to look like a Victorian pavilion, in a nod to its past…

Carnousie House is nestled among woodland. Image: Annie Kenyon Architects

Mr and Mrs Ray operate Adderley Travel from Carnousie House, showcasing the best the UK has to offer to visitors from dozens of countries.

They bought the country house on the banks of the River Deveron in 2022.

Planning documents show how they would like to make the most of an overgrown space that was once a tennis court.

The steps seen here in the background would be retained as the old court is changed. Image: Annie Kenyon Architects

Shetland pavilion inspires architect

Architect Annie Kenyon revealed a “fun” idea she has for the spot.

Papers submitted to Aberdeenshire Council state: “Bearing in mind the site’s previous life as a tennis court, I feel it would be fun to reference traditional timber sports pavilions.

“It might display the form and details associated with Victorian summerhouses
and garden structures.”

The architect has taken particular inspiration from the Jubilee Park Pavillion in Shetland.

The pavilion in Lerwick could be used as inspiration. Image: Google Maps

Why are couple keen to build holiday lodge on tennis court?

Carnousie House was built in the 1960s, and sits in a “mature four acre woodland garden”.

Mr and Mrs Ray explain why they have chosen the “long abandoned” tennis court for their plans.

Another view of how the old playing surface looks now. Image: Google Maps

They write: “In autumn, winter and early spring, the site offers wonderful views along the Deveron valley.

“In late spring and summer, when the trees are in full leaf, the site transforms itself into a dabble-shaded, leaf-clad hideaway.”

The couple also argue that the accommodation would help them to “generate an income from Carnousie House” required to transition their business. More on that theme later…

Plans to create gym in garden of Aberdeen property

In Aberdeen, Mike Macdonald wants to build a home gym in his garden on Kings Cross Avenue.

Architects say the plan “reflects his personality”.

The gym would be erected where an old garage once sat. Image: BW MacIntyre architects

They add: “The proposed home gym is a fitting addition to the setting in comparison with the current under-utilised patio area, and the previous poorly constructed garage.

“Ultimately the home gym will allow the applicant to enjoy their garden well into the future, and be a welcome addition to any future owner.

“Crucially, it will help to increase the physical and mental wellbeing of the applicant throughout the seasons and not just on the pleasant summer day.”

Another view of the proposed workout area. Image: BW MacIntyre architects

Alongside the new gym, Mr MacDonald would like to install raised flower beds to grow fruit and vegetables – and help attract birds and bees.

New cafe in Torry given council blessing

Over in Torry, there’s some more good news for Victoria Road following the news that the old Taylor’s shop could soon be reopening.

Plans to turn a former photography shop into cafe, which we featured in Planning Ahead in October, have now been rubber-stamped.

The old photo shop in Torry. Image: Google Maps

The old Ace Freelance and Son business at 105 Victoria Road will now become a diner with space for 18 visitors.

Council planning chiefs say it would “enhance both the viability and vitality” of the area, though the type of grub on offer is not yet known.

The building has become something of an eyesore. Image: Google Maps

What would you like to see the new Torry cafe sell? Let us know in our comments section below

Closed Altens dairy site will be transformed under ETZ plans

This week’s Planning Ahead comes as work on demolishing Shell’s Aberdeen HQ gets under way.

It’s a time of great change in the north-east’s hallmark industry, with the issue of energy transition dominating political discourse.

Demolition of the Shell HQ in Tullos begins this week. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson

Amid this sea change, the jobs-boosting Energy Transition Zone Ltd wants to accelerate progress and “secure the region’s economic future”.

The not-for-profit group, backed by Sir Ian Wood, wants to achieve this by “revitalising” various industrial sites at Altens.

And now, another key part of the puzzle has been ticked off.

There will be several facets to the zone, including divisive proposals to pave over part of St Fittick’s Park in Torry next to the South Harbour. Image: ETZ Ltd

What is the latest with the Altens dairy ETZ plans?

Aberdeen City Council has rubber-stamped proposals to turn the former Muller/Wiseman Dairies distribution centre on Hareness Road in Altens into a “skills hub” as part of the major ETZ plans.

It has lain empty since the company closed it in 2019.

The Altens dairy building featured in the ETZ plans is one of many left abandoned on the industrial estate. Image: DC Thomson

The site was purchased by ETZ last year, and will form a “keystone” of the entire project.

Documents sent to the council state: “The site is intended to become one of ETZ’s focal point buildings.”

A refrigerated warehouse will become a manufacturing workshop, while other storage spaces will make way for demonstration rooms and a “virtual reality suite”.

This video shows how the skills hub would fit in with the ETZ:

So what is a skills hub?

The development, taking shape adjacent to the North East of Scotland College’s (Nescol) Altens campus, will feature flexible teaching spaces, demonstration areas and a welding and fabrication academy.

It is being driven forward by ETZ, the Scottish Government, Shell and Nescol.

How the building is being transformed under the Altens dairy ETZ plans. Image: True North (Scotland)

Some of the dilapidated depot building will be retained, but modernised.

And there are even plans to locate a Hydrogen train inside, which would be “repurposed as a meeting and informal study area”.

Papers explain the carriage would “run the full width of the building and serve as a link between the various teaching spaces”.

It’s hoped that the extension to the college campus could be up and running as soon as this summer.

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

Aberdeen cake shop

Shortbread factory expansion

Dinnet pizza latest

Inverurie car wash

Johnshaven homes

Turriff tennis court

Aberdeen garden gym

Torry shop transformation approved 

Dairy site plans approved