A project to transform a historic fortification in Aberdeen into a “world-class” wildlife tourist destination and celebration of the city’s wartime heritage could open this summer.
Aberdeen City Council has granted planning permission to the Greyhope Bay group’s “Dolphins at the Battery” development in Torry.
The ambitious scheme was originally due to be built around the corner of Greyhope Road, closer to Girdle Ness Lighthouse, with a £10million price tag, but the decision was made to relocate to the historic battery last year after public consultation.
Instead of one large build, the project will now be created in phases, of which Dolphins in the Battery is the first.
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Fiona McIntyre, the managing director of the Greyhope Bay project, said the planning approval was a “big and emotional moment for the project, a major achievement for the team and a distinct step forward”.
She added that, with planning permission in place, the first phase could be completed and be open to the public by June this year.
The historic Torry Battery, which has protected the city from maritime threats for decades, has fallen into a state of severe disrepair over the years.
The Greyhope Bay team aim to bring the area back to life with a new visitor space, historic exhibits, a cafe, and a temporary viewing platform giving 360 degree views across Aberdeen Harbour for visitors to watch the city’s famous population of charismatic dolphins.
The development has been designed and developed by architect Gokay Devici, who is based at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture.
The initial phase will formed out of repurposed shipping containers, and will include outdoor decking, seating, and other visitor facilities.
Ms McIntyre added :“I’m delighted that both Aberdeen City Council and Historic Environment Scotland are keen to see this historic monument brought back to life.
“The facility will serve as a major new attraction for the city and a hub for the community.
“It is certain to pull visitors from far afield, rivalling the tens of thousands of visitors who go to Chanonry Point on the Black Isle for dolphin spotting.”