Up to three years before Portgordon Icehouse development complete

THE REDEVELOPMENT OF the Icehouse at Portgordon is not expected to be completed until the end of 2019 or early the following year.

Brigid Aitken received the go-ahead from planners to develop the site after a long-drawn campaign that gained a great deal of public support – and, ultimately, that was a key factor in the recommendation to reject the bid by planning officials being overturned.

Now Ms Aitken and her architect, Dr Nick Brown, are pressing ahead with their plans for the site, with Ms Aitken telling insideMORAY: “I’m relieved and delighted with this outcome, and I would like to express my thanks to the Councillors who voted in favour, and the members of the local community who came out in support, as well as my architect Dr Nick Brown.

“With the majority backing of the Planning Committee and the local community, I now hope that I can continue to work in a positive and co-operate manner with the Council’s Planning and Building Standards sections in order to bring my project to successful fruition.”

Ms Aitken is looking to develop a new 36-seat café and ice-cream counter on the site, alongside a yoga/pilates room and a manager’s flat. There will also be direct access to the Icehouse chamber.

A new access point from the public road is included in the planning as is parking spaces for up to 20 vehicles – that will include provision for disabled, motorbikes and push bikes. Upgrades will be made to the core path running through the site while landscaping will be formed to provide protection to the nearby seal haul-up.

The environment of the site and the history of the Icehouse will be safeguarded and promoted through site interpretation and onsite management.

Ms Aitken said: “Subject to satisfactory progress with the Building Warrant and site servicing processes, the development is likely to occur in 2019-20.”