Plans unveiled to bring former hotel back to life as tourist hotspot

Owners closed the hotel in 2020 blaming the coronavirus pandemic for the downturn.

Plans unveiled to bring former Aberdeenshire hotel the Tufted Duck back to life as tourist hotspot in St Combs LDRS

New plans have been submitted to bring the site of the former Tufted Duck hotel in St Combs back to life as a tourist hotspot with a bistro restaurant and bar.

Quitie Limited have applied to Aberdeenshire Council with a second attempt to build on the vacant village site.

The new development will also include 32 motorhome pitches and an area for tents.

A picnic and leisure space will sit alongside the motorhome site for visitors to enjoy.

Meanwhile a building currently on the site would be converted into an amenity block with toilets, showers and laundry facilities for guests.

The four-star Tufted Duck hotel was built in the 1970s and was a well-known shooters lodge.

It was refurbished in 2008 and proved to be a popular destination for various events from weddings to birthday parties.

However owners Conrad and Lesley Ann Ritchie closed the hotel for good in July 2020 after 46 years of business.

They blamed the coronavirus pandemic for a downturn in business.

The closure resulted in 19 members of staff losing their jobs.

In February last year the couple unveiled plans to demolish the 20-bedroom building and transform the business into a new bistro restaurant and bar.

But their proposal was refused by Aberdeenshire Council planners.

They were worried that noise created from the site would negatively impact nearby residents.

The proposed new bistro and bar building would sit partially across the footprint of the former St Combs hotel.

The location of the new facility means that visitors enjoying a meal in the new restaurant will get to make the most of the surrounding coastal views.

Planning documents reveal that the “substantial” parking area with 52 spaces previously used by the hotel would serve the new development.

There will also be three disabled parking bays to ensure accessibility for all guests.

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