PLANS have been unveiled for a major new extension to one of Ayr’s most historic hotels.

Proposals to alter and extend the Brig O’ Doon House Hotel in Alloway have been lodged by the Ayrshire firm that bought over the historic facility just four months ago.

The RAD Hotel Group has applied for planning permission to South Ayrshire Council to carry out work at the 19th-century hotel on the banks of the River Doon.

Ayr Advertiser:

The company, which already owns the Fairfield Hotel in Ayr, the Carlton Hotel in Prestwick, the Royal Hotel in Cumnock and the Lochside House Hotel in New Cumnock, announced its purchase of the Brig O’ Doon House Hotel in October.

The proposals would see the extension ‘wrapped’ around the existing hotel building to the west.

The new extension would be clearly visible from the New Brig O’Doon next to the hotel, though the current frontage on to the B7024 would not change.

Ayr Advertiser:


What's involved?

The proposed alterations include:

- Paring back the existing lounge and restaurant area to create a clear circulation space and access to the wedding suite

- Extending the restaurant area and ‘wrapping’ it around the existing building to create “a more practical and compliant restaurant space”

- Improved disabled access with a lift from the main hallway

- Creation of new guest accommodation underneath the restaurant extension, along with a honeymoon suite which could be accessed from the wedding suite

- Extension of the ‘pre-dinner drinks’ area towards the garden with access to a proposed balcony and to the gardens beyond

Ayr Advertiser:

A design and access statement submitted to the council as part of the application, and prepared by Edesign Architecture and Planning, states: “The aim for the wedding venue was to create a separate self-contained, accessible venue that once guests arrive they can be comfortably contained within the function space.

“A review of this concluded that the actual wedding function space on the main floor did not require any additional space as the guest numbers were at capacity. It was on review of the pre- dinner space on the lower ground floor that highlighted the initial concern.

“This space has been used for pre-dinner drinks and photographs and it was clear from review that the space could not comfortably accommodate guests nor provide safe disabled access to the area and surrounding gardens.

Ayr Advertiser:

“The next review was focused on the restaurant facility and creating a more practical and separate space for those wishing to dine at the Brig O’ Doon.

“The conclusion of the review was to consolidate the restaurant area within the same space and allow the hallway to be used as a entrance lounge area. The result was the design development of an extend restaurant space coming off the western elevation of the building utilising an area of steeply undulating unusable and largely unseen ground.”

The design statement continues: “The practical area for extension to the existing Brig O’ Doon Hotel is extremely limited for a variety of reasons, mainly the functionality of the floor plan arrangement and the immediate site topography.

Ayr Advertiser:

“An engineering solution was devised which would allow for the extension of the main restaurant level whilst enabling required wedding guest space in the under-building below.

“Immediately adjacent to the main restaurant extension, a further lower ground level extension provides necessary additional space to the limited pre-dinner drinks area and vastly impoves accessibility and functionality of the space.”

Ayr Advertiser:

The application is also seeking permission for new car parking spaces at Kirkgate, a minute’s walk from the hotel on the opposite side of the B7024, and is used by bridal parties the evening before weddings at the hotel.

The design statement adds: “The proposals respond to a genuine need to improve the usage of the Brig O’ Doon Hotel to ensure that the building is fit for purpose to satisfy modern venue use requirements and continuing an Ayrshire hospitality tradition, already spanning almost 200 years.

Ayr Advertiser:

“This proposed, unique and sustainable design responds to the existing vernacular and considers the heritage and natural beauty of its surroundings, whilst providing vital additional space to meet the practical and commercial needs of the hotel and ensuring the building is safeguarded for futrure generations to enjoy.”


Historic hotel

Built in 1827 by local businessman David Auld as an inn for travellers, the hotel was originally known as The Burns Arms Inn and later as The Burns Monument, before being bought over in 1997 by the Costley family and then renovated.

Ayr Advertiser:

The design statements, and all other documents submitted as part of the planning application, can be viewed at South Ayrshire Council’s website by searching for the planning reference number 23/00087/APP.

According to the authority’s website, an ‘internal target date’ of April 13 has been set to reach a decision on the application.