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New business could come to Elgin Business Park and next steps for transformation of Forres vacant unit

The latest Moray planning round-up is here.

Elgin Business Park.
Elgin Business Park.

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

This week, Labour secured a landslide victory in the General Election to get the keys to Number 10 for Keir Starmer.

If you need a rest from all the politics, grab a cuppa and read this week’s planning roundup.

Even Keir Starmer gives the thumbs up to the Moray Planning Roundup.. Image: PA

This week, plans to build accommodation for staff at Seafield Arms Hotel have been approved.

Portgordon’s former library could be given a new purpose.

Current Moray councillor Draeyk van der Horn can start work to turn a former Forres newsagents into a gallery.

Mr van der Horn finished second last in the race for the Moray West, Nairn and Strathspey general election seat.

But first, we look at planning chiefs giving the go-ahead for plans which signal that a new business could be coming to Elgin Business Park.

APPROVED: New business could arrive at Elgin Business Park

Elgin Business Park.

In May, we revealed developers Saltire Business Parks wanted to build a commercial unit with office element, parking and yard space at Elgin Business Park’s site 8.

It will be suitable for classes 4 (business), 5 (general industrial) and 6 (storage or distribution).

We previously reported on how discussions were ongoing with potential tenants.

Drawing impression of proposed commercial unit.

Now the plans have been approved by planning chiefs.

One person objected to the proposals.

They questioned if this is a speculative development and called for more information to be provided to allow the local authority to make an informed decision.

However, a planning official said this is not a material planning consideration and the end user is not necessary to consider this application.

Meanwhile they added sufficient information is included in the application.

Why does Elgin have a business park?

Elgin Business Park.

The £12million Elgin Business Park is backed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It is next to the A96 Aberdeen road on the eastern approach to the town.

The park was launched amid concerns about a lack of space for businesses in Moray to expand.

What the showroom warehouse and workshop could look like at Elgin Business Park.

We previously revealed MacGregor Industrial Supplies were building a new branch at the park amid expansion plans.

Meanwhile, accountants Johnston Carmichael are building a new single-storey office at the business park.

In May, we revealed work has been given the go-ahead to build Russell Construction’s new home.

Drawing impression of Russell Construction’s new home.

APPROVED: Accommodation for popular Cullen hotel staff

The Seafield Arms Hotel in Cullen. Image: Sandy McCook/ DC Thomson

Plans to build a two-storey building to house two self contained one bed flats to the south west of The Square in Cullen have been given the go-ahead.

The flats will be used for some of Seafield Arms Hotel’s staff.

Also, an existing garage and outbuildings will be removed to make way for the building.

Drawing impression for flats.

These flats will bring footfall and offer easy access to goods and services for residents.

It will provide a sustainable form of living.

Colin Thompson is representing the hotel.

History of the Seafield Arms Hotel

The Seafield Arms Hotel is an iconic building in Cullen.

In 1822, the Seafield Arms Hotel in Cullen was built.

It was designed by the local architect William Robertson.

In the past, the building was renowned as a popular coaching inn until it shut down.

In 2014, businessman Charles Milne purchased the hotel for around £250,000 with the vision to transform the A-listed building into a boutique hotel.

Around two years later, the proposals to breathe new life into the hotel were approved.

The hotel had lain empty since 2011.

In 2016, our coverage of the vision to breathe new life into the Seafield Arms Hotel. Image: Michael McCosh/DC Thomson
In 2016, our coverage of the vision to breathe new life into the Seafield Arms Hotel. Image: Michael McCosh/DC Thomson

In 2019, the hotel reopened after the major refurbishment.

Since then, it has been successful and more than £3m of investment has been ploughed into the hotel.

The hotel reopened in 2019 after major refurbishment. Image: Michael McCosh/DC Thomson

APPROVED: New life for empty Forres paper shop

Former paper shop.

In April, we first reported on how councillor Draeyk Van Der Horn wanted to breathe new life into a vacant retail unit in Forres.

We revealed the former paper shop Sue’s News at 128 High Street could be turned into a gallery.

Inside the former paper shop.

Last month, a planning application was approved for work to renovate the retail unit after it went before members of Moray Council planning committee.

The work includes:

  • Replacing single glazed front shop windows with timber double glazed windows.
  • Installing two heritage skylights in the rear extension.
  • Adding an air conditioning unit on the rear elevation.
  • Refurbishing the existing storm door.
  • Repainting the front elevation in a similar colour to the existing one.
  • Removing the existing shop fitting and creating a new store area.
  • Refurbishing two windows on the rear of the building.
  • Removing a hanging sign and bracket, and a wall-mounted sign.

What now for the paper shop?

Moray councillor Draeyk Van Der Horn. Image: Jason Hedges/ DC Thomson

The paper shop closed around two years ago.

A building warrant has now been approved for the £15,000 transformation.

He was represented by Ross Jenkins in the planning process.

SUBMITTED: New life for former library

The Lampie Hoose pictured.

The transformation of a former public library into a hairdressers is being proposed.

This change of use is proposed at The Lampie Hoose at 1 Gordon Square in Portgordon.

Inside the building.

.Colin Stewart wants to breathe new life into the building.

There will be no alterations made to the building.

Inside the former library.

The building used to house the village library.

Pre-Covid, it was used for local groups to meet together.

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