McLaren development gets planning approval
Developers of a proposed new hotel on the site of the former McLaren Hotel on the Brodick seafront were given the green light at a full council planning meeting on Wednesday.
The development, which has been under consideration for more than two years, has now been given planning permission to demolish the existing rundown hotel which shut in 2015 and to replace it with a £9 million mid-market ‘aparthotel’.
Dividing opinion since the idea was first mooted, developer Norfolk-based Abode Group has faced fierce opposition from individuals, community groups and organisations which have included Arran Community Council, VisitArran and the Arran Civic Trust.
Citing size, scale, parking provision and appearance as their main objections, the application was eventually withdrawn while the developer considered its options and consulted with planners.
In September this year, a revised application was submitted to planning officials which, taking into account opinions from a public consultation held in the summer, presented a reduction in scale and a reduction in room numbers.
The new plan was reduced to 88 rooms, down from 97 and reduced the scale and mass of the building by 10 per cent. It also significantly increased the number of parking spaces from 52 to 80. Unfortunately, the new proposal also removed a planned restaurant from their original plan which would of been available for the public to make use of.
Along with an extensive list of formal objections, comments and supporters, the application consists of more than 65 documents, totalling more than 100 pages which planning chiefs had to take into con-
sideration. These included supporting statements from the developers, an economic impact appraisal suggesting that the hotel could contribute an estimated £1.5 million per annum boost to the economy, and a transport report.
Included among these considerations was input from the Scottish Environ- ment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Water, Environmental Health and the Transport Department, all of which, while having no material objections, provided comments and conditions.
Despite the amended proposal, Arran Community Council remained firm in its opposition to the proposal. Basing its objections on input from various members and locals, its view remained that despite an amendment to the plan the reduction in size, design and amenity was not significant enough to change its opinion and remained steadfast that the application be refused.
Councillor Tom Marshall, chairman of the Planning Committee, said the committee weighed all factors before reaching its decision. He said: ‘There has been a great deal of interest in this application, largely because it is a prominent site on Brodick’s seafront.
‘The committee was keen to strike a balance that would enhance the coastline and encourage growth that supports tourism businesses.
‘Through discussions between our planning department and the developers, a proposal was put forward which will ultimately bring benefits to Arran and its economy as well as addressing the concerns raised by those who objected.’
Approval for the new hotel was granted subject to a number of conditions relating to matters such as external lighting, proposed bin storage, cycle parking spaces and storage, flood management measures, car parking, and landscaping.
McLaren Hotel site which has been given planning permission.
The site of the previous McLaren Hotel as it is at present.