Luxury apartments could be created to “breathe new life” into what was once a busy Moray sporting arena.
The site at Oldmills in Elgin was home to Elgin Curling Club and its members for more than 100 years.
The sport was played at the pond, when sub-zero temperatures were still common across the region, for up to four weeks at a time.
But the site has fallen into disrepair ever since the club stopped playing there in the early 1970s, for what was a temporary stay in Aviemore.
Now Tulloch of Cummingston wants to build a block of 12 luxury apartments and four serviced apartments at the Oldmills site.
They believe the development will provide “high quality new housing” in what is an “attractive” part of the town.
Planning documents state the widening of an existing pavement leading to the town centre and A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road, and a new footpath north of the housing, would help make the area “safer”.
The report lodged to Moray Council adds: “The proposals submitted have been sympathetically designed to provide attractive housing with easy access to the centre of town, while also recognising the impact these may have on surrounding properties and mitigating this with careful siting and extensive screening.
“The use of high quality materials and traditional detailing and design will allow the proposals to enhance and integrate with the surrounding buildings.
“The application will be deemed a departure to policy, but given it’s current condition, appearance, previous use and brownfield nature, we feel it should be seen as acceptable in line with the policies and guidance in the local plan.
The developers add: “We very much feel this high quality proposal would enhance the Oldmills area and breathe new life into the derelict curling pond site, providing high quality new housing and much needed serviced accommodation to this attractive part of Elgin.”
Potential cash boost for grassroots curling
Last night, Elgin Curling Club vice president Amy Baker told the P&J any cash received from the sale of the land to the developers would be invested back into the sport.
There are big hopes the club can help develop more young curling talent to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Olympic and Paralympic medallists Janice Rankin, Gregor Ewan and Jim Gault.
She added: “It is going to be good to get some money for a site we are not going to be using anymore.
“This is great, as it means that we can put even more funding into curling and promoting the sport, especially to all the young people in our communities.”
Members of the public can now comment on the plans and lodge objections or letters of support by visiting Moray Council’s website.
Nowadays the club, formed in 1850, offers curling for all ages from September to March at the Moray Leisure Centre’s rink.