New application lodged for site of St Leonard’s hotel

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Developer Kirkwood homes have lodged new plans with Aberdeenshire Council for the development of the burnt-out St Leonard’s hotel.

In March last year planning permission was granted to Kirkwood homes to convert the hotel into 20 residential properties.

The application for eight town houses and twelve flats was given the go-ahead by the Kincardine and Mearns area committee despite more than forty objections from local residents.

It was expected that following permission being granted that work would begin on the site by the end of 2011.

However work never began and it has now been revealed that this is because Kirkwood homes have been rethinking their plans.

The developer is now seeking approval for “reconfigured” plans.

The new application is for change of Use from Class 7 (Hotels and Hostels) to Residential, Class 9 (Houses). The developer is still seeking to develop 20 residential properties, however the plans have been altered.

In a letter to Aberdeenshire Council planning department land director of Kirkwood homes, Allan Rae, said: “We now propose to have six flats within the envelope of the former hotel building (as opposed to eight as previously approved).

“This reduction is as a result of the removal of two attic flats which, upon further detailed design work post-planning consent, would not comply with building regulations.”

The letter continues: “The proposed new build extensions to the original building follow the same footprint and scale as per the approved scheme but will have a revised mix compromising 6 townhouses and 8 flats (as opposed to 8 townhouses and 4 flats previously approved).

“The two townhouse units from the approved scheme have been substituted with four flats , keeping the total number of units proposed at 20, in accordance with the approved scheme.”

The revised application is now open to representations and will be considered in the coming months. If granted, Kirkwood homes are hoping to begin development this year with the first property being available in Spring 2013.