Lairhillock homes given approval
A historic north east inn will be demolished and replaced with new homes after plans were given the green light by councillors.
The application by S Law (FC) Limited will see the Lairhillock Inn at Netherley near Stonehaven knocked down and five detached homes constructed in its place.
The former bar and restaurant closed its doors at the end of March 2020 after operating for 14 years, however the building itself has been on the site for over 200 years.
Former owner Sandy Law had blamed the opening of the AWPR for a decline in passing trade and an increase in takeaway orders for the closure.
The B979 was the most commonly used route between Deeside and Stonehaven however since the opening of the AWPR traffic is more likely to use the dual carriageway.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee discussed the application last week.
Councillor Ian Mollison said: “Over the decades I’ve lived here I’ve been a customer of the Lairhillock Inn and its had a high reputation but sadly the market appears to have changed, people have literally voted with their feet and business became unviable.”
He moved a motion to approve the application and added : “I’ve very happy memories of there but times move on, we cannot live in the past.”
However councillor Mark Findlater moved an amendment and suggested the commitee carry out a site visit in order to get more information on the historic site.
He said: “We cannot live in the past we do have a duty of course to preserve it. I have to be 100 percent assured that we are doing the right thing here with demolishing this site.”
Committee chair councillor Peter Argyle said: “I’m no more a fan of seeing old buildings being demolished than anyone else but I think in this particular circumstance the proposal on the table is the right one.”
Councillor Iain Taylor added: “If nothing is done there is no doubt the site will become derelict and will be demolished by other means over a long period of time and will become unsightly.”
The matter went to a vote with ten members in favour of the motion to approve and three voting for the amendment.