Tayside and Central Scotland

Waverley Hotel in Perth damaged by fire

Waverley Hotel fire Image copyright Stuart Cowper
Image caption It took firefighters several hours to extinguish the flames

A fire has cause extensive damage to a derelict hotel in Perth owned by Stagecoach tycoon Ann Gloag.

The blaze at the Waverley Hotel, on York Place, started at about 21:40 on Tuesday.

Ms Gloag bought the former hotel in 2011 and is hoping to develop the site with a gym and church hall.

The Waverley Hotel is a listed building and plans to demolish it have been met with objections. An investigation into the cause is under way.

The building was most recently used as homeless accommodation - but was closed in 2011 and has since fallen into disrepair.

'Real battle'

It was bought by Ms Gloag after it closed. She plans to build a gym and hall for the neighbouring Trinity Church of the Nazarene at the site.

Local builder Robert Bywalec said: "It was a bad fire - the flames were right through the roof.

"It will need to be demolished. The building can't be safe now. The firefighters were having a real battle to put it out."

Image copyright Google
Image caption The hotel fell into disrepair in 2011

Eight fire appliances turned out and it took them more than four hours to get the blaze under control, but the building was empty and no-one was hurt.

A spokesman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: "We received the call at 21:39 on Tuesday night.

"The fire was in the roofspace of the derelict hotel.

"We had a number of appliances in attendance - three from Perth, one from Dunkeld, four from Dundee."

The spokesman said an investigation into the cause of the fire would now be carried out.

Any decision to demolish the hotel would be taken by Perth and Kinross Council, though Historic Environment Scotland (HES) - a new body formed on 1 October 2015 - has been consulted on the plans.

A spokesperson for HES said: "As a statutory consultee our role in the process is, and always has been, to provide our advice to Perth and Kinross Council, who then determine the application.

"We have advised the council that they should be clear on whether they have now obtained sufficient information to fully appraise the application for demolition.

"We wrote to the council on the 23 October to explain this, and highlighted a number of issues which they may wish to consider before coming to a decision."

A spokesperson for Ann Gloag said: "We have been informed that the fire was restricted to the roof void and did not spread further.

"We await further information from the fire service and Police Scotland as to the cause of the fire and will assist them fully."

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