A CRUMBLING hotel building described as an “eyesore” is to be saved by developers after a decade of false starts.
Developer McCarthy & Stone Lifestyles Ltd is to covert the landmark Barnton Hotel into nine flats with 73 “assisted living” homes for older people built alongside, having been given planning consent by the city council.
Built in 1895, the Barnton Hotel – described as “Edinburgh’s biggest doocot” in recent years due to the number of birds nesting inside – has been closed for more than a decade.
Over the years, the category C listed building has become derelict and was added to the Scottish Civic Trust’s Buildings at Risk Register, with local residents complaining of vandalism and vermin problems.
Previous proposals to redevelop the hotel failed to get off the ground for planning or economic reasons.
Andrew Mather, chairman of Cramond and Barton Community Council, said: “The hotel has been an eyesore for the past eight years so it is great that something is finally being done about it.
“We in the community are enthusiastic about the proposals – naturally, there were some objections but in the main everyone is very happy with it.
“We would have preferred a hotel, restaurant and bar, but that wasn’t going to happen in the current climate and this is really the best we could have hoped for.”
Euan Leitch, assistant director of heritage body the Cockburn Association, said: “We are very pleased that the Barnton Hotel, a local landmark, is being restored.
“We look forward to seeing it being restored so that it is no longer a blight on the Barton junction.”
Steve Wiseman, managing director of McCarthy & Stone Lifestyles Ltd in Scotland, said: “We’re excited to be able to bring assisted living to Edinburgh.
“This type of housing allows older people to retain the independence of owning their homes while having the peace of mind that extra help or care can be accessed when they need it.
“This has been a major planning project and we’re grateful to the local community who have supported and assisted us in the development of our proposal.
“The Barnton Hotel holds a special place in the hearts of many people and we are keen to ensure it is sensitively refurbished while rejuvenating the site and enhancing the surrounding area.”
Early pre-works will commence as a priority to preserve the listed former hotel building, with the development of the assisted living accommodation set to begin in autumn 2013.
The completion date is expected to be in late 2014.