Banchory Lodge Hotel gains permission for dining pods

The Banchory Lodge Hotel has received planning permission to create an outdoor dining area for visitors.

Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 6:56 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 2:41 pm
Banchory Lodge Hotel
Banchory Lodge Hotel

The hotel had lodged an application with Aberdeenshire Council in a bid to install a pergola and dining pods.The application was considered by the Marr Area Committee on Tuesday, February 16.

The outdoor dining area will feature a slabbed dining terrace covered by the pergola. A paved pathway will be formed leading to the five dining pods and an outdoor toilet.

The dining pods will be fitted with seats and a table to cater for a maximum of six people, subject to C oronavirus restrictions.The proposal also includes compensatory planting of trees for the unauthorised loss of mature trees that were covered by a Tree Preservation Order and removed from the site prior to submission of the planning application.

The application received three objections raising concerns on matters including an increase in noise, impact on neighbours and odours from food and cigarettes.

Banchory Community Council welcomed the development but said that the loss of trees has affected the setting of the hotel and has an impact on housing to the north of the site. They made a suggestion that the area be replanted with trees once the temporary permission expires.

Aberdeenshire Council officers had recommended the plan be approved stating that the economic benefits and compensatory planting allow the proposal to be “acceptable”.

Councillor Rosemary Bruce said: “I absolutely want to support Banchory Lodge Hotel and any other business that is finding ways around this very difficult situation that we find ourselves in at the moment and outdoor dining is a suitable reason for doing that.”She noted that the felling of trees is a “severe issue” but said that she did not want to let that get in the way of the decision and added that as the application is temporary for two years she was willing to support it.

Fellow councillor Moira Ingleby also supported the plans and said the dining pods would “add a welcome dining experience to Banchory” and would be “really popular” when restrictions are relaxed.