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Changes to controversial Dufftown windfarm, new life for derelict Kingston shop and plans at Johnstons of Elgin

Time for our weekly planning round-up.

New life for derelict shop in Kingston.
New life for derelict shop in Kingston.

Welcome to our weekly update of planning applications in the Moray Council area.

New life will be breathed into a derelict Kingston shop.

Plans have been lodged to increase the turbine tip height at an already-approved controversial windfarm.

Let’s start with approved plans for a new shed at Johnstons Of Elgin.

Learn more about each of these applications below.

APPROVED: Johnstons of Elgin

Johnstons Of Elgin will build a small shed near their textile manufacturing mill.

This will house some of the mechanism for their new blending bins, involved in their textile production.

The cashmere manufacturer and retailer were established in 1797.

Last year the family-owned company celebrated its 225th anniversary.

The firm is one of the largest manufacturing employers in Scotland.

Johnstons of Elgin sign outside mill.
Johnstons of Elgin.

Planning permission has been approved for the cabin and machine as it would alter the external material appearance of the building due to scale and location.

A spokeswoman for the firm previously explained: “We blend different shades together to give melange colours, or mix different types of fibre for different textures and weights.

“Most importantly, this process ensures that the whole batch is completely consistent prior to making the yarn, which is very important.”

APPROVED: Kingston shop to become storeroom

An abandoned shop will be turned into a storeroom.

The former shop at The Rowans on Beach Road in Kingston has been on the Buildings at Risk Register for a while.

According to the website, the risk record relates to the former store structure only, the rest of the property is not at risk.

Derelict shop on Beach Road at Kingston.

Ralph Hardie will use the building to store items like bikes.

No external changes will be made to the building structure.

But new flooring will be added inside as the current one is rotted.

See images of the shop when it was running:

Barbara Walker’s auntie Janet Dunbar managed the shop until it closed in the late 1960s. Here she is pictured with customer, Jimmy Watt, who lived on Beach Road.
Young Ricky McConnachie in front of the shop.

SUBMITTED: Changes to windfarm which caused fury

Energiekontor is seeking to increase the turbine tip height by 10m for Garbet windfarm, around 3.5 miles south-east of Dufftown.

The firm say the changes are needed as the  turbine of the consented height 190m is now unavailable.

Councilor Derek Ross pictured near some turbines
Councillor Derek Ross is furious after the planning application for the yet to be built windfarm near Dufftown was approved by the Scottish Government Reporter.

What is the background to the wind farm?

In November 2021, councillors rejected the windfarm.

Members of the planning committee voted against the seven-turbine wind farm application by eight to three at a meeting. There were also two abstentions.

The move was counter to officer recommendations to approve the proposal subject to conditions. They said it was an acceptable departure from the local development plan.

Councillors stressed that the visual and environmental impact of the 623ft turbines and associated infrastructure were too great.

Our front page of reaction to the news.

However, last September, the Scottish Government upheld an appeal from Energiekontor, and granted planning permission.

At the time, Speyside councillor Derek Ross accused the Scottish Government of “riding roughshod over local democracy” after overturning councillors’ refusal.

While former architect Colin Mackenzie warned the stunning landscape around
Auchindoun Castle and Cabrach was under attack as the number of turbines could rise to 148.

An illustration of what the existing and proposed Cabrach windfarms could look like
Former architect and business owner Colin Mackenzie warns landscape around Auchindoun Castle under attack from Cabrach windfarms. Image: Jason Hedges/ DC Thomson

He told us on our visit to Auchindoun Castle: “This world-class location is under attack from the rising windfarms.

“We already have two significant windfarms and if all plans are approved the whole landscape around Auchindoun Castle will be overrun by turbines.

“At times, it feels it is too late to change anything.

“However, I want to fight this. At the end of the day I have nothing against wind turbines. I just think they should be put in sensible places rather than ruining the landscape.”

Further planning applications can be viewed using Moray Council’s portal.

Spotted any plans you think we should know about? Get in touch at