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Back to the drawing board for Bricks Hotels after controversial proposals to demolish the Ironworks music venue in Academy Street and build a seven-storey 162-bedroom hotel on the site were rejected in December – as CRPG Architects in Inverness appointed in the hope of lodging a fresh application for the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel by this summer


By Val Sweeney

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Previous proposals for the hotel were rejected by councillors in December.
Previous proposals for the hotel were rejected by councillors in December.

A new team has been drafted in to help with designs for a £25 million hotel in Inverness city centre after previous plans were rejected.

Controversial proposals to demolish the Ironworks music venue in Academy Street and build a seven-storey 162-bedroom hotel on the site were rejected in December following concerns about its potential impact on the surrounding riverside conservation area.

Bricks Hotels has now appointed CRPG Architects in Inverness in the hope of lodging a fresh application for the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel by this summer.

Invernessian Allan Davidson, the chief operating officer of Bricks Hotels, said: “We are placing a new emphasis on giving the building a degree of civic presence by setting it further back from the street and implementing new design elements which soften the building’s exterior.

“Our approach is to take on board, in a positive manner, issues raised in relation to our previous application.

Bryan McFadzean, director of CRPG Architects. Pic Trevor Martin
Bryan McFadzean, director of CRPG Architects. Pic Trevor Martin

“We have appointed a new, local firm, CRPG Architects, led by project director Bryan McFadzean, who are well versed in designing historically sensitive projects in the city centre.

“Mr McFadzean’s fresh pair of eyes will be an asset and he is tasked with delivering a design that is sustainable and successful to bring inward investment, jobs and visitors to the city – as well as playing its part in the council’s aim to revitalise Academy Street.”

Mr McFadzean is currently involved with the Highland Housing Alliance flats and retail project in B-listed premises in Castle Street where he works in liaison with Historic Environment Scotland.

“Our team attended a meeting last week of the council’s design review panel to outline initial ideas and gain an enhanced idea of what they will and will not support,” he said.

“The feedback from that has proved extremely worthwhile and given us a basis to move on to the next design phase.

Mr McFadzean said the hotel entrance would also be developed to offer attractive and visible frontage to Academy Street, while exposing the stone gable of the adjacent building to maintain the definition of the area.

Related article: Plans for new Inverness hotel on the site of the Ironworks could be back on track; Kirkwood Homes also pushing ahead with plans for 800 homes on the site of the former Fairways golf course, with Highland councillors to consider proposals next week


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