Plans to turn ‘eyesore’ former pub into flats approved
THE LOCHABER Bar on Kilmallie Road is to be turned into three, two-bedroom flats after the owner of the former pub last week had planning permission granted by Highland Council.
Planning was first sought in 2015, when support for the flats was mixed. A petition, ‘Stop Lochaber Bar becoming flats’, was started and signed by more than 160 people with many calling for the pub, next to the Co- op and Sammy’s fish and chip shop, to be brought back to life after being out of use for six or seven years.
Caol Community Council raised a similar point at the time. In its comments to the planning committee, it said: ‘It was a great bar and could be again. It is important to keep social facilities such as this available to the community.’
The community council also raised concerns about a loss of commercial space from the village square and parking in what is an already busy car park. One Caol resident told the Lochaber
Times: ‘Parking for the Co- op is already terrible so the loss of spaces will impact heavily on that. Parking in the bus stops will become the norm and in the access road for the houses opposite.’
But the council has stipulated there must be a minimum of five car parking spaces for residents.
The community council says its views on the application have not changed. It will hold its next meeting on Monday April 10 at 6.30pm in Caol Community Centre.
Caol and Mallaig councillor Ben Thompson said: ‘We have a housing issue but these flats are in a really awkward location. The feedback I have had from people is, yes it’s an eyesore, let’s sort it, but why can’t it be used commercially. I would like it to be used commercially because I think that makes sense, but it’s private property.’