New hotel call as community leaders look to the future

Current Ellon Academy
Current Ellon Academy
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Community leaders in Ellon would like to see another hotel in the town to boost tourism.

They say retail provision could also benefit from the future redevelopment of the current academy site.

The suggestions are contained in Ellon Community Council’s response to the draft local plan, issued for consultation.

The council says its comments “are not cast in stone” and it would welcome feedback from the wider community.

In its submission, the council expresses “considerable disappointment” that there is no clear planning for the redevelopment of the academy site once it moves to the new Cromleybank campus.

The document states: “The proximity of this space to the centre of Ellon, plus the fact that some buildings could be repurposed with limited development effort, means that there are many and varied options to consider.

“The town has limited retail provision currently due to lack of appropriate unit sizes and it is understood that were spaces to become available, significant named retailers would be interested in moving into the Ellon business space.”

The council says the town is also looking to develop visitor numbers, yet the available hotel space is substantially limited and caters mainly for travelling workers.

The response continues: “The town would benefit tremendously from having a destination hotel to aid visitor development.

“There are many attractions within a short distance from Ellon, making our town a natural hub space given the right circumstances.”

The council’s document also refers to other locations, including Cromleybank, where the new academy campus is under construction. The area is set to have major housing and possibly a third Ythan crossing.

It says: “The outline plan from the main developer at the moment includes a retail provision roughly twice the size of Neil Ross Square.

“We feel this must be developed in such a way that as to not limit or disadvantage any growth or improvement of the current town centre.

“We would also like to see the planning application make significant amounts of affordable housing available.”

The council says there is concern over the linkage from the town to the new development, adding: “There is stipulation that a new road bridge be constructed, however this would need to cross a flood plain and has the potential to be a significant blot on the landscape.”

The documents says it would be preferable for the link options for Cromleybank to be reconsidered publicly and openly.

The council is urging local people to make their views known.

The document concludes: “There are some significant changes to the town of Ellon to come over the next five years and it would be a shame if these were a surprise and disappointment to the community when they arrive.”