Derelict north-east cottage could become men’s shed

Chairman Sandy Thom and some of the volunteers.
Chairman Sandy Thom and some of the volunteers.

A derelict building in a north-east park could be transformed into a home for a men’s shed group.

The windows and doors of the gardener’s cottage in Aden Country Park in Mintlaw have been boarded up for years.

The property has fallen victim to fire damage and many of skylights have been smashed allowing rain to pour into the premises.

But the future of the C-listed property could be bright after plans to give a new lease of life were unveiled.

Mintlaw and District men’s shed could move into the property if a proposed revamp is given the green light.

The organisation is working with the council to move into the cottage and transform the dilapidated surroundings into their headquarters.

A report, submitted alongside Aberdeenshire Council’s planning application, stated the property had been “neglected for a considerable period” and quite a lot of work was needed to bring it up to scratch.

Ivy has to be removed from the walls, the slate roof and gutters need repaired and replaced, while a new door is required and the windows need fixed.

The document, prepared on behalf of the local authority by John Renshaw architects, said the action was necessary to prevent the cottage vanishing without a trace.

It said: “We support the re-use of the building for the local community.

“There are urgent actions that are required to make this building air and watertight and stop the ivy from further strangling the structure.

“This will prevent this building from being needlessly lost.”

Neil Shirran, project and funding officer of the Friends of Aden Country Park group, expressed optimism that the C-listed building could be preserved.

He said: “We are hoping to bring it back into use.

“We have working in partnership with the Mintlaw and District men’s shed group and the sooner we can get going on this the better.

“It certainly won’t be glamorous, but the building will be functional.”

Sandy Thom, chairman of the Mintlaw and district men’s shed, confirmed his members will be fitting out the interior of the cottage.

He said they would offer people somewhere to go for a chat and a coffee or even take part in cookery lessons or learn IT skills.

Mr Thom said: “Councils are keen that heritage buildings are retained and used.

“Once the planning is through and completed, our guys will sort out the inside.”