McLaren devel­op­ment gets plan­ning ap­proval

The Arran Banner - - Front Page - Colin Smee­ton ed­i­[email protected]­ran­ban­ner.co.uk

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.

Op­po­si­tion

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.’

Con­di­tions

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.

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