Developers have been granted permission to progress in principle plans to build a four-storey hotel on the site of a former bar in Perth.
They have been urged to press ahead with the demolition of the dangerous “eyesore” of a building formerly known as Clachan Bar “as soon as possible”.
Councillors on the Local Review Body were asked to reconsider the plans after they were refused by Perth and Kinross Council’s planning department in June 2022.
Tariq Fayez of Urban Plan Consultants appealed the decision, and three councillors from PKC’s Planning and Placemaking Committee sat on the Local Review Body on Monday, October 24 to determine the case.
Presenting the appeal to the Local Review Body independent planning adviser Ross Burton told councillors the building at 10-12 South Methven Street was in a “poor state of repair”.
He said a demolition order had been served for both it and the neighbouring Quality Cafe building at number 14 under separate legislation.
He said: “A dangerous buildings notice has recently been served on the owner of the site, the applicant, requiring the demolition of all buildings on the site – that is the application site and the two-storey building adjacent.”
Councillors were told due to the notice being served under the Buildings Scotland Act it had “no relevance to the consideration of this planning application”.
The in principle plans for a 27-roomed hotel, bar and restaurant were refused by planners in June 2022. The reasons for refusal included concerns it would have an “adverse impact” on the conservation area.
Conservative councillor Bob Brawn argued there was “no consistent architecture across the street”.
Granting the appeal, Cllr Brawn said: “Looking through the various paperwork we have here, it’s obvious the council instructed a structural engineer’s report and subsequent to that a demolition order.”
Other reasons listed for refusal included the need for a biodiversity survey and a Noise Impact Assessment.
Cllr Brawn countered a biodiversity report was “also irrelevant now” adding: “Public safety must override any biodiversity reports necessary.”
He proposed to grant consent for the plans “in principle” and said the design would need to be approved by planners and the conservation team as well as conditioning a Noise Impact Assessment and an archaeological investigation before building takes place.
The convener called for the building to be demolished “as soon as possible.”
Labour councillor Brian Leishman said: “I would be delighted to see the regeneration of the town centre, the boost to the local economy, the job opportunities and the greater choice of restaurants and bars and social venues it would bring – not to mention replacing a building that is not only dangerous but a bit of an eyesore and blight on the landscape of our town centre.”
SNP councillor Grant Stewart agreed and said it would help with the development of a “vibrant Perth City Centre”. He agreed to consent to the in principle plans “as long as a suitable plan is brought forward”.
The councillors unanimously granted the appeal.