Groups kick up stink to block Old Aberdeen toilet renovation plans

Plans to transform a former public toilet building in Aberdeen into a cafe have been narrowly thrown out by councillors.

Proposals were lodged earlier this year to turn the Old Aberdeen public toilets, by the Old Town House on the High Street, into a coffee shop.

Developer Harry Miller, of Ferryhill, bought the dilapidated restrooms last year with an idea to give them a new lease of life.

But members of the local authority’s planning development and management committee voted eight to seven in favour of refusing the application.

Proposals to make it a cafe were vetoed.
Proposals to make it a cafe were vetoed.

Many complaints revolve around the modern building materials, including aluminium, being out of place in the historic area of the city.

Councillor John Corrall, who is also a member of the Aberdeen City Heritage Trust, said he would be “aghast” to see the development go ahead.

He added: “I’m not against the development per se but what I’m against is the totally inappropriate materials for this most sensitive of sites.”

Councillor Neil Cooney, who voted in favour of the application, said the alternative is to “leave it as a boarded up toilet block”.

The Old Aberdeen Community Council, Aberdeen Civic Society and the Old Aberdeen Heritage Society all raised objections against the scheme.