Market Square Phoenix Garden

By Dawn Black / November 30, 2020
Stonehaven market square north pend with fountain

You may have heard about the proposed community garden being planned by the Stonehaven Business Association and other local community groups. The planning application has been submitted so we wanted to update the local community on the whys and wherefores of the project.

Stonehaven, in common with many town centres in recent years, has suffered decreased footfall, accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. There is a desire amongst local residents and businesses to preserve and enhance what the town centre has to offer and to improve its economic and social vibrancy. The aspiration of this project is to create an outdoor civic space for people to enjoy within the town centre at the Market Square. By establishing an attractive space for people to meet and enjoy, this will generate increased footfall to the town centre businesses which are such an important part of the vibrancy of our town. 

The aim is to regenerate the area at the north pend of the Market Buildings within the Market Square next to the historic granite fountain to create a new civic space in the form of a community garden with attractive planting and seating to encourage people to spend time in the town centre. Currently the majority of visitors concentrate on the beach promenade and the historic harbour. We wish to attract more of those people into our town centre for the benefit of the whole town. The new community garden will contain attractive sustainable planting and plentiful bench seating making it a much more welcoming space for both the local community and tourists.

market square map
Area of garden outlined in RED
  • The funding comes from the Aberdeenshire Council Phoenix Fund (£10,000) and the Scottish Government Town Centres Fund (£48,700)
  • The amenities currently in the space will be relocated elsewhere in the vicinity
  • The two disabled spaces will be moved to elsewhere in the Square with the approval of the Car Parking Team at Aberdeenshire Council and the Access Panel
  • A local contractor will be used to build the hard landscaping and will create work for approx. 10 local people
  • The Stonehaven Horizon Group will create and maintain the sustainable planting
  • The granite fountain and horse trough will remain
  • The materials used will be of high quality and finish so as to require minimal maintenance
  • The Grade 2 listed Market Buildings will not be affected within the design
Planning drawing by Nikki Ritchie of Hyve Architects

The full details of the planning application and the Design Statement are now available to view on the Aberdeenshire Council Planning Department online portal as well as at a pop-up public consultation at Hy on Allardice Street in early January 2021. Click here to view the planning application.

We would love to hear your views on the Garden and invite letters of support to be sent to

Concept drawing by Nikki Ritchie of Hyve Architects
Enid Thorndycraft - December 3, 2020

Lovely design it would turn an uninteresting and dull looking area into somewhere pleasant and interesting to linger.

ALLISON SUMMERS - December 2, 2020

Great design will make a huge difference to the square for local & visitors

Anne Rodger - December 1, 2020

I like the proposed plan and the concept of flow within the design. It certainly gives a welcome feel to the square with a suggestion to linger and enjoy, rather than just an area to walk by.

S Davis - November 30, 2020

I think it’s a really lovely design and will improve the look of that area.
My only reservation is that side is in shade most of the time .

David Smail (Horizon Project) - November 30, 2020

I support this proposal to encourage more visitors and citizens to sit in the Square and thereby use the nearby shops and facilities.

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