Plush retirement flats to end eyesore site’s ten-year saga

The interior of the bar at the Barnton Hotel pictured back in 1958
The interior of the bar at the Barnton Hotel pictured back in 1958
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AN eyesore former hotel is finally set to be redeveloped after a ten-year planning saga, it emerged today.

New plans have been lodged to turn the Barnton Hotel, which has fallen into serious disrepair, into plush retirement flats, with more facilities constructed behind.

Prospects of a long-awaited revamp have been welcomed by local politicians and the community council, while developer McCarthy and Stone said any plans would be taken forward with the consultation of local residents.

However, community leaders said there would be questions surrounding an increase in traffic to what is already a busy section of road.

Since closing in 2001, the Queensferry Road hotel has been the subject of numerous proposals, from its demolition to turning it into an upmarket housing development.

Financial problems and planning red tape have halted them but, now McCarthy and Stone has bought the site, it is hoped a solution can finally be found.

Almond Conservative councillor Kate MacKenzie said: “It’s been so sad to see it sitting there like that for so many years.

“These plans sound encouraging because it’s an important building locally.”

Under the pre-application submitted to the council, nine apartments would be created and marketed as being for the elderly, and would see the hotel refurbished rather than demolished.

Behind it, a new building would be created with further accommodation providing 24/7 care needs for residents.

Over the years, the building has deteriorated noticeably and has been damaged by vandalism and the weather.

Andrew Mather, chairman of Cramond and Barnton Community Council, said: “This is something we’ve been pursuing for years because it is an eyesore on the main route into the town.

“I think people will be pleased something is being planned. Similar proposals in the area seem to get a reasonable response.

“One issue will be the traffic. It’s a busy part, especially with the new Sainsbury’s there, and clearly this would add to that.

“It would be nice to see some of the character of the hotel retained, providing that can be done sympathetically.

“We will have a series of meetings and reflect the views we get from the local community.”

Steve Wiseman, managing director for McCarthy and Stone Retirement Lifestyles in Scotland, said: “McCarthy and Stone is committed to engaging with the community prior to submitting a planning application to the council.

“Therefore, over the next couple of months, McCarthy and Stone will be holding an extensive community engagement programme giving local residents and community groups the opportunity to give their views on our proposed plans.”

Plans will be exhibited for the community on February 22 at the Royal High School, with an event for the wider public a month later.