Welcome to Planning Ahead – our weekly round-up of the latest proposals lodged across Moray.
Officials have approved Wi-Fi for the iconic Dufftown clocktower and new floodlights for Forres Mechanics.
Meanwhile, changes are proposed at a warehouse to improve the visitor experience at Strathisla Distillery.
There are also plans to build a new office at Tamdu Distillery.
But first, we look at withdrawn plans to build affordable homes on the site of former Elgin hospital.
More details on each of these applications are below.
WITHDRAWN: Affordable homes on site of former hospital
Plans to build affordable homes on the site of a former Moray hospital have been withdrawn.
In 2019, the council commissioned a design team led by Collective Architecture to develop proposals for a new housing development in the grounds of Spynie Hospital in Elgin.
The Duffus Road building, which was built in 1933, was previously demolished and site clearance works completed.
Moray Council’s plans were to transform the site into 62 affordable homes.
It was hoped that the development could help with the strong council housing waiting list.
What happened to the hospital?
NHS Grampian closed wards at Spynie in 2006 with patients being transferred to the nearby Dr Gray’s Hospital.
After the hospital’s closure it was used as offices for about 10 years.
Over the years, the decaying building has been a target for vandals with windows repeatedly being smashed.
The 130 employees moved out in late 2016 after the conditions at the derelict hospital were described as “awful and appalling”.
However the land has been hailed as “desirable” opportunity to open up a range of opportunities for the town.
Around 22 objections have been submitted against the housing proposals.
SUBMITTED: New office for Tamdhu distillery
Plans to demolish the existing office building to make way for a new office at Tamdhu Distillery have been submitted.
Tamdhu Distillery is a single malt Scotch Speyside whisky distillery, located in the village of Knockando.
The distillery has been operating for 125 years.
Ken Mathieson Architectural Design Limited is representing Ian MacLeod Distillers Limited in the planning application.
Proposed floor plans:
SUBMITTED: Changes to improve visitor experience at distillery
Strathisla Distillery wants to provide a richer visitor experience by making changes at a warehouse.
Chivas Brothers’ proposed works at what they call No 12 Duty Warehouse involve the reorganisation of the cask storage, the formation of several distinct visitor areas and the creation of an opening between ground and first floor.
The distillery has approached Historic Environment Scotland as part of the design
process to provide guidance on acceptable changes to the building’s fabric.
The distillery at Seafield Avenue in Keith is one of the oldest continuously operating single malt distilleries in the Highlands.
APPROVED: New floodlights for Forres Mechanics
Forres Mechanics will replace their floodlights which are at the end of their useful life at Mosset Park.
The current pylons have been in place since the late 1980s.
The Highland League side will replace the existing floodlights with a modern low energy 300 LUX system.
So four 15m steel columns will be installed each with new energy saving LED floodlights.
Forres bosses believe the move to the new system would future proof the club against further enhancement of the SFA licensing requirements.
This new system would maintain the requirement to provide a minimum light level of 200 LUX on the pitch after dusk to allow a safe level of play for the players and a safe environment for the spectators.
New power cabling and control equipment will also be installed.
APPROVED: Wi-fi for clocktower
Dufftown Community Association will install Wi-fi at the town’s clocktower.
The group officially took over ownership of the town’s famed clocktower in March 2020.
The tower was purchased from Moray Council’s Common Good Fund with the aim of restoring the landmark.
Two non-permanent access points will be installed on the top floor behind two of the clockfaces.
The application was submitted by the association’s full-time community development leader Viktoria Eriksson.
What is the Dufftown clocktower project?
In the past 50 years, the building has been left empty and began to fall into disrepair.
The Press and Journal previously revealed that talks were taking place about the potential transformation of the clocktower into a museum.
Work is still ongoing on the overall project.
In a previous Planning Ahead round-up, we reported that Drummuir Castle was still Diageo’s Home of Scotch Whisky on Speyside.
This is incorrect as the firm left the castle in 2016.
In 2020, Mr Torquil Gordon-Duff and his family gained vacant possession of the castle.
Further planning applications can be viewed using Moray Council’s portal.
Spotted any plans you think we should know about? Get in touch at email@example.com