THE first images of the proposed refurbishment of an eyesore former hotel have been unveiled as developers bid to get the project off the ground after a decade-long planning saga.
The defunct Barnton Hotel in west Edinburgh would be transformed into a luxury apartment complex under proposals to go before city planners later this year.
A separate large modern retirement complex will also be built adjacent to the site on Queensferry Road.
New images of the hotel, built in 1895, show developers intend to completely refurbish the existing building from its current state of disrepair.
The building has been on the at-risk register for some time and local residents have complained of vandalism and vermin problems at the hotel.
Attempts to redevelop the landmark have been ongoing since its closure in 2004, ranging from complete demolition to transforming it into an high-end housing development.
McCarthy and Stone Retirement Lifestyles now intends to create nine apartments in the old hotel and 73 homes for elderly residents in the new block.
Some objections have been submitted to city planners.
Cockburn Association director Marion Williams raised concerns of overdevelopment of the area and describing the new building as “monolithic and commercial in character”, although the firm said the artist’s impressions could change at a later stage.
She added: “We believe that more effort could be made to make this development fit well into its context. The site layout and design for the care accommodation makes the site appear overdeveloped and the building out of scale with its surroundings.
“We support the stated design intention for the new building to not compete with the former hotel, but in our view the proposal fails to achieve this.”
Resident Lynne Grant said in her written objection to planners that she was “appalled at the extent of the proposed development” and suggested it was the largest the firm had built in the UK to date.
However, Lindsay Paterson, Conservative councillor for the Almond ward, said much of the local community was keen to see the building brought back to use.
She said: “It’s got to the stage where we just want something positive to happen.
“The previous application in 2006 is said to have had something like 250 objections and this one has around five, so that suggests that there is more support for this design.”
Alastair Shields, Liberal Democrat councillor for the ward, said: “People in the area are supportive as long as there’s a transparent account of what is going to happen, such as ensuring car parking can be realistically placed at the site and that the new building does not impose on their light.”
McCarthy and Stone Retirement Lifestyles has held public events and presented plans to residents in recent months ahead of a meeting of councillors on the planning committee in September.