Aberdeenshire hotel's decaying windows could be replaced amid major revamp

Aberdeenshire's Huntly Arms Hotel is set to have every window revamped amid ongoing works to bring the venue back to life.

The Aboyne hotel has lain vacant in recent years and even recently was found to have become a cannabis farm, with locals backing plans to upgrade the C-listed building.

Now, the next steps have been revealed in planning documents sent to Aberdeenshire Council as developers look to replace decaying and crumbling windows believed to be over 100 years old.

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Sir Specialist Joinery and Contracting explained in documents how each window could be refitted, stating: "It is assumed that most of the current single glazed sash and case windows are in excess of 100 years old.

"Timber windows are entirely reliant on the external decoration and unless they are redecorated at 6-10 yearly intervals, dependent on exposure conditions, it is inevitable that the paint system will fail and wet rot will become established, initially in the windows cills and other horizontal surfaces and eventually in other areas.

"It is not clear when these windows were last redecorated externally and there comes a point where repairs are no longer practical or sometimes cost effective."

It continues: "The justification for replacing the windows is that the clients are totally refurbishing the hotel and are fully committed to its rejuvenation, whilst respecting its listed building status.

"This includes replacing every window in the hotel that is visible from all front and side elevations with new white painted timber sash and case windows.

"These would replicate the existing windows as closely as possible in terms of fenestration, colour, operation, and detailing, but will be fitted with slimline double-glazed units.

"The intention is to keep the existing white pvc windows to the rear bedroom block as they appear in an acceptable condition, but these may be replaced either with new pvc or white painted timber casement, if on further inspection, if it is found to be beneficial.

"There will be significant thermal benefits to the property with the proposed window upgrades and the aesthetics of the building will be greatly improved, enhancing the area."

Developers concluded there was clear evidence of rot and decay as well as excessive noise, and that the windows were beyond 'economical repair' and would require replacement.

The C-listed building has a long and storied history, once belonging to the Marquess of Huntly and hosting world leaders such as Queen Victoria. However, the hotel has been empty since 2019.

Earlier this year, four men were arrested after a cannabis cultivation was discovered during a police raid of the now derelict site.

Current plans would see ‘internal structural modifications’ made to the building in preparation for ‘the full refurbishment and internal layout redesign of the existing hotel and public bar.’

These include changes to existing windows, the installation of a new heating system along with a new entrance to the bar and refurbished toilets.

You can view more on the plans to replace the windows here.