Plans lodged for new £9m ho­tel on old McLaren site

The Arran Banner - - Front Page - Hugh Boag ed­i­tor@ar­ran­ban­

Plans for a new £9 mil­lion ho­tel on the site of the for­mer McLaren Ho­tel in Brod­ick have fi­nally been lodged.

An ap­pli­ca­tion to build a 97-bed­room mid-mar­ket ho­tel for the eye­sore Brod­ick seafront site has been sub­mit­ted to North Ayr­shire Coun­cil plan­ners.

Be­hind the pro­posal is the Nor­folk-based Abode Group which says the new ‘apartho­tel’, if ap­proved, will fill a ma­jor gap. It will ac­com­mo­date more than 30,000 visi­tors a year and cre­ate be­tween 30 and 40 full- and part-time jobs.

The ap­pli­ca­tion is for the de­mo­li­tion of the ex­ist­ing ho­tel and the erec­tion of a new ho­tel and restau­rant on the site, which has be­come in­creas­ingly run down since the for­mer McLaren Ho­tel closed in 2015.

The abodeGroup has been hav­ing on­go­ing de­tailed dis­cus­sions with the plan- ning depart­ment for more than two years for the de­vel­op­ment which has been lodged un­der Class 7 ho­tels and hos­tels – which means that ‘no sig­nif­i­cant el­e­ment of care is pro­vided’ at the es­tab­lish­ment apart from a restau­rant and bar.

The pro­pos­als were also the sub­ject of a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion ex­er­cise un­der­taken last sum­mer where there was crit­i­cism of the de­sign of the new ho­tel as well as the lack of park­ing and con­cerns about where the ho­tel would find suf­fi­cient staff.

As part of the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion the Abobe Group has sub­mit­ted both an eco­nomic im­pact ap­praisal and a trans­port re­port in sup­port of its bid.

The re­ports state: ‘The de­sign of the proposed new ho­tel has evolved over a two-year pe­riod to accord with the coun­cil’s re­quire­ments and to pro­vide an eco­nom­i­cally vi­able devel-

opment that will meet the needs of the tar­get mar­ket.

‘The ho­tel will pro­vide 97 mid-mar­ket rooms. These will in­clude ba­sic kitch­enettes as re­quested by the coun­cil so as to pro­vide ad­di­tional self-con­tained ac­com­mo­da­tion on the is­land.’

There will also be 52 on-site car park­ing spa­ces, space for the stor­age of 14 cy­cles, car/cy­cle hire will be avail­able and there will be an elec­tric ve­hi­cle charg­ing point.

The trans­port as­sess­ment, which was car­ried out by THaT Con­sul­tancy (Trans­port High­ways and Traf­fic Con­sul­tants) and states: ‘It is clear from this anal­y­sis that the proposed de­vel­op­ment will en­joy easy, safe and con­ve­nient ac­cess by a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent modes of travel. The site is eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble on foot, by bi­cy­cle, by bus and by car/ mo­tor­cy­cle.

‘The ho­tel is ex­pected to em­ploy 30-40 peo­ple in to­tal with a mix of part-time and full-time work­ers. It is not ex­pected that there will ever be more than 30 staff on duty at any one time.

‘The coun­cil’s park­ing stan­dards would there­fore re­quire 39 car park­ing spa­ces for guests and 10 car park­ing spa­ces for staff. A to­tal of 49 car park­ing spa­ces. The proposed site lay­out shows a to­tal of 52 car park­ing spa­ces.

‘It is un­der­stood that the coun­cil would like the ho­tel’s restau­rant/bar to be open to non-res­i­dents so as to ex­tend the range of such venues in Brod­ick. Given the site’s lo­ca­tion in the cen­tre of the town, the avail­abil­ity of over 150 pub­lic car park­ing spa­ces di­rectly out­side the ho­tel site, and given that staff and any non-res­i­dent cus­tomers are ex­pected to be based in Brod­ick, it is not con­sid­ered nec­es­sary, or in­deed ap­pro­pri­ate, to make any spe­cific ad­di­tional on­site car park­ing pro­vi­sion.’

The re­port adds: ‘A wide range of mea­sures are proposed to en­cour­age non­car-based modes of travel by guests and staff. The ma­jor­ity of the 30 to 40 peo­ple em­ployed by the ho­tel will be re­cruited lo­cally and will there­fore be able to walk, cy­cle or use pub­lic trans­port to travel to/from work.’

An artist’s im­pres­sion of how the new ho­tel will look.

The present eye­sore site of the McLaren Ho­tel. 01_B20m­claren02

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