Campaigners refuse to give up Tennant Arms without a fight

CAMPAIGNERS HOPING TO save a landmark Moray hotel from demolition insist that they have not yet given up – despite planning permission having already been given.

There was disappointment yesterday when it was revealed the owner of the Tennant Arms Hotel in Lhanbryde had not been able to find an alternative plan for a new general store development on the site.

Through his design consultant, owner Tahir Pervaiz admitted that every possibility had been looked at to retain the existing building in his development but it proved too difficult. Design consultant Colin Keir said: “I looked at the options which would allow us to keep the building – but none of the would comply with legislation regarding road safety.

“The council’s roads department made it quite clear they have certain specific requirements which we can’t achieve. It is just not possible to save the building – and it’s worth noting it would have been far cheaper for my client to keep it there.”

Insisting that the fight to retain the old Hotel was not over, campaigner Gill Stewart said they were not giving up just yet – and with local councillor Sean Morton leading the charge, support also came from one of his opponents in the forthcoming local council elections, Tory candidate Marc Macrae.

He said: “I am greatly disappointed to learn of this decision to demolish what is very much a landmark building in the village. The strength of feeling was very clearly demonstrated at the public meeting back in December and following that villagers were pleased when plans to demolish the building were put on hold.

“It was clear to me from those attending the meeting that the best solution to move forwards was to retain this iconic building and for new plans to be drawn for its redevelopment into a retail site.

“I fully support the local community in their desire to see this building retained and would call upon the developers to revisit their designs and work with the community, many of whom they will be seeking as future customers.”

Meanwhile Mr Keir insisted that he remained confident the new design he came up with would “reflect the old building”.