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Apartments proposed for Inverness site

By Neil MacPhail

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Artist’s impression of what the development would look like.
Artist’s impression of what the development would look like.

A COUPLE who had their application to build a small block of tourist apartments costing about £1.5 million turned down by Highland Council planners following objections have come forward with a new plan.

Neil and Catriona Cameron – owners of the city’s popular Mustard Seed and The Kitchen restaurants – want to demolish a flat-roofed building in the grounds of B-listed Ross House in Ardross Street and create new apartments behind.

It is the latest development after their plan for a four-storey contemporary building comprising eight serviced apartments was rejected by Highland Council planning officers using delegated powers in January. They deemed it would be detrimental to the surrounding residential area which is in a conservation site.

The application attracted several objections including one from the Provost of nearby St Andrew’s Cathedral.

The new application in the name of B&L Properties Ltd is for a mews-style building, emulating the historic coach and horse accommodation often found behind grand homes.

It would be much lower than the previous application and would comprise six one-bedroom and two studio units.

An architect’s report prepared for the Camerons stated: “The previous application to develop the site was thought to be detrimental to the residents of Ardross Place.

“The mews approach has been developed as a low-impact solution as the visibility of the development to Ardross Street is limited and the impact to Ardross Place, although longer, is significantly lower.

“Styled on a traditional mews, which is a term used formerly to describe a row of stables, usually with carriage houses below and living quarters above, built around a paved yard or court, buildings of Ross House’s nature would generally have had such outbuildings.”

The development will use external stairs in a bid to keep the building low.

The report added: “The national growth of serviced apartment accommodation supplies a growing need both for short/medium term business/commercial usage and, increasingly, a growing tourist market.

“This is particularly evident in Inverness where over the last several years the city is effectively at capacity for visitor bed spaces through the summer months.

“This trend looks set to continue.”

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