Ho­tel plan for Wood­bank Inn

Lennox Herald - - NEWS -

Own­ers of a Bal­loch restau­rant have re­vealed ma­jor plans to ex­tend the inn and at­tract tourists with a 24-bed­room ho­tel.

They say run­ningWood­bank Inn on Bal­loch Road is not a sus­tain­able busi­ness and have ap­plied to build a three-storey ex­ten­sion to the back of the build­ing.

The ap­pli­ca­tion will be de­ter­mined by Loch Lomond and theTrossachs Na­tional Park plan­ning com­mit­tee on Mon­day next week (Novem­ber 27).

The ex­ten­sion would con­tain 18 bed­rooms, re­sult­ing in a to­tal of 24 bed­rooms across the prop­erty and a smaller kitchen area.

Ad­di­tional car park­ing spa­ces are also pro­posed within the site to the west and front of the build­ing, which was for­merly called Lochside and La Scar­petta.

In a state­ment to plan­ners, the own­ers said it has changed hands many times over the last 10 years, in­di­cat­ing that the build­ing strug­gles to main­tain a busi­ness.

They said:“We took own­er­ship in April 2016 and fully re­fur­bished the whole prop­erty to a high stan­dard, ten­anted the premises to an ex­pe­ri­enced op­er­a­tor and re­viewed the trad­ing fig­ures for the past 10 months.

“In our pro­fes­sional opin­ion, the unit as it stands is clearly not sus­tain­able.

“Bro­ken down, the ac­com­mo­da­tion side is prof­itable com­pared to the food and drink of­fer­ing.

“To as­sist re­tain­ing the build­ing as a func­tion­ing premises and in turn re­tain­ing jobs, we have con­cluded that ex­tra ac­com­mo­da­tion is re­quired.”

But the own­ers face op­po­si­tion from some res­i­dents, with five ob­jec­tions and one let­ter of sup­port sub­mit­ted.

Some say the ex­ten­sion will im­pact on neigh­bours’pri­vacy, add to noise lev­els and say there are enough ho­tels and B&Bs al­ready in the area.

Na­tional park plan­ners rec­om­mend ap­proval of the plans, say­ing that the Na­tional ParkTourism Team was con­sulted and note there is a gap in low bud­get/high qual­ity hos­tel/bunkhouse ac­com­mo­da­tion in Bal­loch.

A re­port to the com­mit­tee states:“The im­pact on the amenity of neigh­bour­ing res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties has been raised as an is­sue by ob­jec­tors; how­ever it is con­sid­ered that there will be no im­pact on the day­light and sun­light af­forded to neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties.”

Ho­tel pro­posal Wood­bank Inn is set for a ma­jor over­haul

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