Firm pulls plan for Premier Inn
A proposal to build a 105-bedroom hotel in Pitlochry that would be leased to Premier Inn has been withdrawn.
Riverstone Developments (Pitlochry) Ltd submitted plans to Perth and Kinross Council on March 10 to develop a site near to Bridge Road in Pitlochry, but the company withdrew its plans on Tuesday, July 7.
The pull-back follows 73 local objections, including one from the community council and a case against the proposal from SEPA.
The environmental organisation SEPA did not approve of the proposal to build the three storey complex on stilts on a recognised floodplain, considering the displaced water would put nearby homes at high risk of flooding.
Riverstone Development’s proposal had been for a modern hotel including a bar/restaurant, formation of outdoor seating area, parking areas, landscaping and associated works.
The build had been envisaged for the same site as had previously achieved planning permission for a supermarket, but this project never went ahead.
Andrew Holmes, chair of Pitlochry and Moulin Community Council, said Perth and Kinross Council had informed him the applicant had withdrawn the application.
He said: “Investment in Pitlochry is always welcome but this application was in the wrong place and badly out of character with its surroundings. We would expect any new large building in Pitlochry to respect the local character and environment, wherever situated.”
Highland ward Conservative councillor John Duff added: “The planning application in relation to the development of a new hotel in Pitlochry has been temporarily withdrawn.
“It has attracted 81 comments – 73 objections and eight comments in support.
“I understand that issues raised both by SEPA and the council’s structures and flooding team in relation to the plans have highlighted a conflict with development plan policy.
“As a consequence, the applicant has withdrawn the application meantime to allow it to consider the concerns raised.”
On May 1, SEPA wrote to Perth and Kinross Council saying: “We object in principle to the proposed development on the grounds that it may place buildings and persons at flood risk, contrary to Scottish planning policy.
“Given the location of the proposed development within the undeveloped/ sparsely developed functional floodplain, we do not consider that it meets with the requirements of Scottish planning policy.
“The cornerstone of sustainable flood risk management is the avoidance of flood risk in the first instance. We recommend that alternative locations be considered.”
The environmental body wrote again on May 18: “The application site is pristine functional floodplain and it is important to maintain it in its current natural state for the protection of the properties and residents on the right bank of the River Tummel that are already at a significant risk of flooding.
“We would note that it is for PKC, as the planning authority, to determine this planning application taking into consideration SEPA’s advice. We previously objected to the original application for a supermarket at the site, yet the proposal was still approved.
“We would also point out that we do not consider ‘limited available land suitable for the proposed development’ as justification as to the proposal taking place in this location.”
Two Perthshire spirit connoisseurs plan to build on the success of the‘Self Isolation Whisky Festival’they organised in May and bring the public a new online event to celebrate all things gin.
Pitlochry-based expert and specialist shop owner Ewan McIlwraith and Rannoch’s Sandy Fraser have taken the bull by the horns and, following encouragement from both the public and the gin industry, have put together an event called‘The Spirit of Perthshire Gin Festival’, which will be held over the weekend of July 24 and 25.
Having scored a hit with their whisky festival which allowed participants to order in a home tasting kit so they could interact with expert tasting sessions, Sandy and Ewan plan to do the same with samples of premier brands of Scottish gin.
Over the gin festival weekend there will be sessions examining gin products from names like The Gael, Fever-Tree, Crossbill, Hepple and Badachro.
Tickets for Saturday masterclasses cost £22.50, £29.50 for Sunday’s tasting-tomusic session and it’s also free just to look in online without wetting your lips.
“In the current climate that we find ourselves in, we feel that there will be a market for this type of event at least for the near future and who knows possibly longer,”said Iain.
“We are considering putting on another whisky and gin festival and possibly a beer festival all in the same vein, but for now we are excited to bring Spirit of Gin to a wide audience who are keen to appreciate the infinite variations of the clear stuff being produced by craft distillers.”
To register and order the tasting packs go to www.robertsonsofpitlochry.co.uk
The application site is pristine functional floodplain