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Plans lodged with Highland Council to alter extension at Waterside Hotel in Ness Bank in Inverness to allow coronavirus restrictions and customer expectation regarding social distancing

By Ian Duncan

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Waterside Hotel, Ness Bank, Inverness.
Waterside Hotel, Ness Bank, Inverness.

Hotel owners in Inverness are hoping to extend and alter an extension at one of their buildings because of coronavirus restrictions.

Glen Mhor Ltd has applied to Highland Council for planning permission to carry out the work to the conservatory at the Waterside Hotel in Ness Bank.

The applicant also owns the neighbouring Glen Mhor Hotel which was recently granted permission to install a new greener ground source heat pump system as well as extra parking spaces at the site.

Council planners currently have the proposals under consideration and the applicant already has had an on-site pre-application discussion with one of the authority’s officers.

The site covers an area of 0.35 hectares and it is proposed that the conservatory would gain an additional 23 sq m of floor space.

According to a design and access statement, which was submitted as part of the planning application, this would be achieved by adding a small extension to the existing structure which is to the front of the building.

It states: “The Waterside Hotel is a long-established hotel having operated for a considerable number of years. It was recently acquired by the applicant, Glen Mhor Ltd, who has since undertaken a programme of upgrading and refurbishment.

“The applicant owns the Glen Mhor Hotel to the north and the intervening buildings between the two hotels. The Waterside Hotel is a popular and busy hotel providing quality guest accommodation.”

It described the hotel as a traditional 2.5 storey building, which had been variously altered over a number of years, and that the additional floor space was required to allow social distancing.

The document states: “The existing conservatory area serves as both a restaurant and as a breakfast room for guests.

“Covid-19 restrictions and customer expectation regarding social distancing has created logistical issues in accommodating sufficient space to ensure appropriate spacing between tables and circulation area can be achieved by both guests and staff.

“This additional space will enable a reconfiguration of the internal layout and meet the challenges required by the pandemic.”

The proposed small extension would be located next to the north elevation and would adjoin the existing conservatory and existing store building.

The statement adds: “This will provide additional and improved internal floor area and circulation. The design of the proposed extension matches that of the existing but includes a glazed roof and focal corner feature.

“The proposed materials match the existing stone walling of the adjacent lean to building and the glazing panels are of a similar style and proportion to that of the existing conservatory.

“The proposed link will add interest at the corner and continuity between the two existing extensions.”

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