PLANS TO DEMOLISH a landmark hotel to make way for a new shop and car park in Lhanbryde are being opposed by local councillors.
Labour councillor Sean Morton has launched a campaign to save the Tennant Arms Hotel building in the Moray town ahead of a meeting of the planning and regulatory services committee this week.
Committee members will hear a recommendation on Tuesday that the hotel demolition request be granted, subject to a series of conditions, allowing owner Tahir Pervaiz to put in place a new shop unit with car park facilities on the site at St Andrew’s Road in the village.
However, Councillor Morton has said that the building is “too important” for the decision to be taken without the local village community first being fully consulted.
Councillor Morton, who is not a member of the planning committee, said: “I think that the building is too important to be decided by one committee without the community having their say.
“Along with other local councillors I will ask the committee to hold a public hearing on the issue – meaning that everyone who wants to save this building can have their say. I am convinced if we get this to a hearing then together we can save The Tennant Arms.”
Two Fochabers/Lhanbryde councillors are on the planning committee, Tory Douglas Ross and the SNP’s Margo Howe.
However, not everyone was happy with the public hearing suggestion, with Dod Milton taking to social media to inform Councillor Morton: “How about progress for the village – the man that has it should do what he likes, it is an eyesore – bring on going forward not back, a new shop will do the village good and bring more people.”
Planning committee members have already carried out a site visit ahead of Tuesday’s meeting of the planning and regulatory services committee, when they will be told: “The proposal accords with the relevant policies of the Moray Local Development Plan 2015 and there are no material considerations that indicate otherwise.”