Meeting sought to probe alternative future for Lhanbryde hotel

A MEETING IS BEING SOUGHT with the chairman of the Co-Operative group over plans to create a new store in Lhanbryde on the site of the Tennant Arms.

Regional MSP Douglas Ross has asked for the meeting in light of significant objections from the local community over plans to demolish the landmark hotel to make way for the new store.

He had chaired a public meeting in December at which the strength of feeling over the issue was apparent – however, despite the objections, including a petition signed by more than 500 people and an online petition with more than 250 names, Moray Council has now given permission for demolition of the site and erection of the new store.

The local community are calling on the supermarket chain to re-consider their business case. It is understood that the Hotel owner had sought an alternative plan in the face of opposition – but pressure from the Co-Operative had placed him in the position of having to go ahead with the original plan.

Mr Ross said: “The strength of public feeling over the issue is apparent. I fully support the local community in their desire to see the building retained and would call upon the developers to consider all the options.”

Chair of the Lhanbryde Community Challenge Group, Anita Milne, is leading objections to the plans.

She said: “As the Co-operative Group’s ethical objectives are about helping communities through co-operative values and practice, the local community feel that these aims will be completely undermined if this development goes ahead.

“Surely the term co-operative says it all, it should be about working with local communities in a co-operative and supportive manner, rather than riding roughshod over local views and opinions.”

Mr Ross concluded: “I would hope that Mr Leighton will seriously consider a meeting so that we can discuss this issue and find a way suitable forward for the local community and the Co-op.”