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Nethermill of Birness 

New Housing, Ellon, Aberdeenshire 

This project concerns the development of a derelict mill and farm steading at Nethermill of Birness, to the North of Ellon. The proposal comprises retaining and converting two existing buildings, demolishing of buildings in poor condition and the construction of 2 new-build dwellings. The development therefore features 3no. dwellings plus the retention of the Eastern portion of the steading to form a garage and stables.

The new homes are designed as low carbon contemporary versions of rural cottages with pitched slate roofs, timber & metal cladding, chimneys, and exposed timber outriggers and spurs, whilst benefitting from high performance glazing and open-plan internal layouts. Each of the cottages have slight variations to the positioning of glazing and cladding depending on their orientation relative to views, sunlight and prevailing wind; thus creating a sense of place and unique identity. The glazing and material composition on the gables create a activate frontage that helps create a sense of community and identity.


The dwellings are laid out to create a distinctive streetscape that references the original steading and respects the scale of the setting. The new houses have been sensitively designed with high quality materials & design features and will enhance & maintain the setting of the site. The proposal re-uses existing buildings where possible, recycles existing stone on the new dwellings and restores the original mill pond creating a distinctive landscape feature that serves as a novel flood prevention and SuDS measure. The new development responds to and respects the natural environment and brings a redundant site back into beneficial use

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