Committee veto Feughside Inn conversion plans

Marr Area Committee councillors have refused to grant planning permission for change of use of one of Deeside’s oldest Inns.

The Feughside Inn in Strachan, who’s building dates back to 1664, was before the committee who were looking at granting full planning permission for change of use from it as a hotel to be turned into residential units.

But the committee did signal their support for three new homes to be built on its grounds.

Committee members had differed the decision on the Inn at the previous meeting of the committee, requesting more information on how the business was being marketed.

Concern was raised for the future of the Inn as an operating hotel as it had failed to attract a single formal offer since ceasing trading in January.

Councillors were therefore asked to give full planning permission to turn the eight-bedroom building into three homes.

The proposed transformation of the Inn had attracted some 36 letters of objection, including one from Finzean Community Council.

Instead the members granted permission in principle for three homes to be granted on the scenic site.

The Inn is currently advertised online for sale for offers over £350,000.

Conerstone Business Agents, who are advertising the property, describe the hotel: “It is rare to find such a good example of a country hotel such as the Feughside Inn. The location is ideal in beautiful Royal Deeside, close to Aberdeen and many other places of interest. The property is in excellent condition having had a lot of investment made to it during the last few years and the trading figures, whilst good, have real potential to be grown by new energetic owners.

This area attracts many visitors throughout the year, attracted by the beautiful scenery, excellent walking facilities and superb fishing in the

River Dee, Scotland’s best river for salmon fishing...”

At a meeting of the Marr Area Committee at Stewart’s Hall in Huntly on Tuesday (April 16) the separate items came up for debate.

Seven of the ten regular committee members attended the meeting, with three absentees due to personal issues.

They were joined by a small contingency of Strachan residents, keen to hear the outcome.

After a lengthy debate there was a close vote of four to three against granting the planning permission.

Councillors Peter Argyle, Joanna Strathdee and John Latham voted for granting permission, with the other present members against.

Banchory Councillor Linda Clark voting against granting permission.

She told the Piper: “We fought a hard battle for this. The Feughside Inn is right next door to a caravan park, it is a biker’s paradise in the summer time, for both motor cycles and traditional bikes.

“This is excellent news for the community. I think we have to give companies a decent shot to bid for the hotel, everyone really wants it to be a successful business itself.”

At the time of going to print, none of the councillors who voted for the change could be contacted.