Plans for ‘mini village’ at abandoned Boddam base

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BODDAM’S abandoned RAF base could soon be transformed into a ‘mini village’, following its recent sale.

The former RAF Buchan was sold last Monday in a deal thought to be worth up to £1 million. A masterplan is now underway to transform the rundown buildings into a mini village or ‘town centre’ for Boddam.

A new company, Carden Buchan Braes Ltd, was formed by Aberdeen-based architectural firm Michael Gilmour Associates specifically for the purchase of the base.

Director John Buchan said: “The site is a collection of buildings, some of which are occupied and some are vacant. We are in the process of drawing up a masterplan which will bring these disused buildings back to life. There will also be future employment opportunities.”

A medical building left behind by the RAF is expected to be transformed into a new health centre while the company plans to increase business at Buchan Braes Business Centre.

“The plan is to bolster the business centre,” says John, who is originally from Buchanhaven.

“There are some really good local businesses at Buchan Braes already and we think that with some added marketing, it could appeal to more local businesses and be very successful.”

John added: “There is some land on the site which has a number of possibilities and we will be looking at that to be developed. We are looking to create a new community for Boddam, bring down the barbed wire and integrate the old base into the village.”

Plans are expected to include a number of houses, recreation facilities, a nursing home and a shop.

Residents and business owners have welcomed the plans, which they hope will breathe new life into the once thriving former base.

Owner of the nearby Rocksley Inn Emma Birnie said: “I would like to see something happen with the old base. It’s not good to see something lying there dead. Whether or not it will have a positive effect on our business,”

Manager at Buchan Braes Hotel Tony Jackson added: “Anything that can be done to develop the site and bring jobs to the area is a great thing.”

The Masterplan is expected to be completed within the coming months and a planning application put before Aberdeenshire Council.