Aberdeenshire Council lodges plans for new office and community facilities in Ellon

Plans for a new Aberdeenshire Council office and community facilities on the site of the former Ellon Academy annexe have been lodged with planners.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 11:02 am
The council’s proposals form part of the wider Ellon Masterplan and would bring a number of public services together on one site.

The council’s proposals form part of the wider Ellon Masterplan and would bring a number of public services together on one site, allowing smaller owned and leased offices to be released for other uses.

A planning application and design statement have now been lodged with the authority’s planning service for assessment.

The two-storey building and parking would serve as a new office for Aberdeenshire Council designed for flexible working. It would accommodate 163 staff in total, allowing for a mixture of working inside the office and from other locations.

The project also includes the development of a new family resource centre within the facility, with its own entrance. A new library and customer service point would also be created.

The new building would be built on the western side of Bridge Street, respecting the existing architecture in the area leading into the town centre.

The ground floor would contain the public parts of the building, with the main entrance on the south-east corner. The library and service point will be based in a large open space, and there would also be bookable ceremony space.

The family resource centre would provide support to children and their families, with a focus on giving children the best possible start in life, and the new space would allow Children’s Services to work with larger groups of children, parents and carers.

The new library would have flexible spaces to allow for a wider range of events and group activities, benefitting from access to the service point and registrar services to support family history research and other functions.

Aberdeenshire Council committee meetings would take place upstairs in a room that would also be bookable by building users and the wider community when not in use by the Formartine Area Committee. Office space would also be located upstairs.

The building would be built in a mix of grey and silver brick and timber, taking inspiration from the original Ellon Academy building and its ‘strong’ civic presence on the site, and in terms of sustainability the aim is to achieve net zero carbon in operation. There will also be the opportunity for public art as part of the development.

Formartine Area Manager Elaine Brown explained: “This project represents the ‘civic hub’ of the Ellon Masterplan and follows the council’s town centre first principles by ensuring the council retains a central presence within Ellon.

“The development would allow us to release a number of leased council buildings and free them up for other uses, such as retail. The building would also benefit from being close to other public services such as Police Scotland and Grampian Fire and Rescue Service.

“The planning process must now be followed before a final decision is made but we hope these plans give the local community a clear indication of what we’re trying to achieve.”

The application can be found at upa.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/online-applications and comments on the proposals can be submitted by Thursday, July 8.