Perth City Hall: Council committee backs luxury hotel plans
- 14 May 2014
- From the section Tayside and Central Scotland
Perth City Hall could be redeveloped as a hotel after councillors were urged to make a U-turn on demolition plans.
Councillors had earlier voted to pull down the B-listed Edwardian building to create a new city square, but have now been asked to back redevelopment plans.
Developers the Seventy Group claim to have interest from international hotel chains and management companies.
The council's development management committee has recommended that the full council approve the project.
The long-running battle over the hall stretches back almost nine years, when it was closed after a modern new concert hall was built in the city.
Historic Scotland blocked a move from the council to tear down the hall in 2012, but after only one redevelopment bid was submitted last year - a rejected proposal to use the hall as an indoor food market - demolition was back on the cards.
Local residents formed a protest group opposing the demolition of the building, which dates back to 1911.
And the day after the application for demolition of the hall was submitted, in February this year, a new application was lodged to transform the building into a luxury hotel.
The Seventy Group propose largely remodelling the interior of the building into a three-floor hotel of 32 rooms, while retaining the exterior character and some interior features such as the hall ceiling.
It would also include a bar and a restaurant open to the public, and banqueting facilities for 100 guests.
Planning officers recommended that councillors give this application the green light, and a meeting of the Development Management committee agreed.
With that backing, the plans will now go before a meeting of the full council, when issues like the building's lease will be discussed.
In a report to councillors, development quality officer Nick Brian recommended approval, subject to a number of conditions aimed at protecting the fabric of the listed building.
He said: "The proposal involves limited intervention to the external fabric of the building and as such the overall character of the listed building is being retained.
"The works proposed will result in a completed scheme which meets the overarching aims of the local development plan by introducing a viable commercial use into the building.
"The overall use will help to improve the vitality and viability of the city centre and potential lead to further economic investment in the locality."