Staff quarters go-ahead
Planning: Deeside hotelier gets green light to build accommodation
A Deeside hotelier has been given approval to build staff accommodation despite a number of objections to the plans.
Highland Hospitality, the owners of the Fife Arms in Braemar, had sought permission to build a timberclad facility consisting of 15 bedrooms for hotel workers.
However, opponents of the scheme raised concerns the 5,1880 sq ft, twostorey property would be too large for the site and overshadow neighbouring properties.
The proposals went before the Marr area committee yesterday, which had previously visited the site, for final approval.
Councillor Paul Gibb, Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside ward, said he could not ignore the concerns of the community and urged the committee to reject the plan.
He said: “There’s a significant number of people within Braemar who are opposed to this.
“The building is too big and the site is too small, the material that’s being used is also not in keeping with the surrounding buildings.”
His motion to reject the plans was supported by Councillor Anne Ross, Banchory and Mid-Deeside ward.
Peter Argyle, also from Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside, said he had struggled for some time on what position to take.
He added: “It was very much on balance for me, but I have decided to come down in favour of the application.
“This will have a great benefit for the community, in that it will free up other holiday accommodation which is currently rented out by the hotel
“It was very much on balance for me, but I have decided to come down in favour”
for its staff. I think most people who drive through Braemar won’t even be able to see the building.”
After a lengthy debate, the committee voted five to four in favour of Mr Argyle’s amendment to support the application.
Edward Workman, chief executive of Highlands Hospitality, revealed the firm was delighted with the decision.
He said: “The provision of modern, purpose-built and comfortable accommodation for our staff is in keeping with our ambition to make the Fife Arms the best hotel in Scotland.
“The design of the new housing is sensitive to the historic village setting and natural beauty of the national park.
“Braemar is a wonderful place to call home and we are excited to share its delights with both our staff and guests.”
APPLICATION: The Fife Arms Hotel in Braemar has been given approval to build staff accommodation