Apr 25 2012 by Kaiya Marjoribanks, Stirling Observer Wednesday
A LOCAL businessman looks set to breath new life into a historic Dunblane hotel.
Maurice Heron is proposing to refurbish the vacant Stirling Arms in Stirling Road, which dates back to 1770 and was extended in 1905.
Stirling Council planners had recommended refusal of both his listed building consent application and planning application to alter and upgrade the hotel to include external decking for eating and drinking.
However, the council’s planning panel decided they were “minded to approve” the listed building application – which will ultimately be decided upon by Historic Scotland – and conditionally approved the planning application subject to conditions that the decking should be constructed of galvanised steel.
Only Councillor Margaret Brisley voted against the planning application on the grounds that it should be decided on planning rather than economic grounds, and that the proposal would not enhance but erode the character of the area because of the size of the decking area.
Council planners had said: “The external decking will not preserve or enhance the character of the Dunblane Conservation Area, due to its detrimental effect on this major landmark building and on key views. The proposed decking will erode the character of the B-listed building due to its inappropriate size and unsympathetic design and materials.
“The draft Conservation Area character appraisal for Dunblane identifies the Stirling Arms Hotel as a major landmark building in this part of the Conservation Area. It also identified two key views – of the river from the Stirling Road Bridge and the view across Stirling Road Bridge towards the High Street. The proposed external decking would be visible in both of these views and would be detrimental in its effect.”
Councillors – including council leader Graham Houston and fellow ward councillor David Goss – welcomed the proposals, however.
Councillor Houston said the proposals tried to make the hotel economically viable and he did not feel the plans were out of keeping.
The panel also heard that Dunblane Community Council believed the proposals would enhance the area and were welcomed by the community.