Owner of fire-hit hotel optimistic plans will get the go ahead

Owners of a former fire-hit hotel have said they are “optimistic” that their redevelopment plans will go ahead despite initial refusal by councillors.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 8:19 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 8:20 am
Mike French is optimistic that the redevolpment plans will get the go ahead. (Photo: Kirstie Topp)

Victor and Audrey Sang, along with business partner Mike French, are looking to build a two-storey garden centre and restaurant on the site of the former Old Mill Inn at Maryculter.

The development also includes five new homes and the renovation of the old mill to transform it into a retail unit and café.

The business partners bought the Old Mill Inn in 1989 and over the years the hotel hosted numerous events but it closed its doors in 2014.

The pub opened in August the following year but the business shut for good after Storm Frank flooded the building.

The historic hotel, which had been in operation for around 200 years, was badly damaged following a fire in February and was demolished shortly afterwards.

Over the last three years the owners have been working on plans to redevelop the site while retaining the C-Listed corn mill building that dates back to the 18th Century.

They had submitted an application to Aberdeenshire Council for planning permission in principle last week but it was refused due to a “lack of information”.

Mike French said: “There were two main technical points for refusal which we are actively going to address as soon as possible and we will be resubmitting our planning application within the next couple of months.

“We are optimistic because there is a consensus that something needs to be done to redevelop the site, it’s an eyesore at the moment and is not doing anybody any good. It will cost around £300,000 to repair the old mill which has been vandalised to the point that it is dangerous.”

Mike explained that raising the new building would help to increase the flood area.

He said: “While everyone else builds walls or banks around their properties what we are doing is raising the property, allowing the water to flow under the building so we’re not passing it on to any neighbours.

He thanked local residents for supporting their plans adding: “We all want something to happen on the site.”