Controversial plans to extend the iconic Brig O’Doon Hotel in Alloway will go before councillors next week.

RAD Hotel Group’s plans for the listed building would see the number of rooms more than doubled, from five to 11. The extension would also increase the restaurant capacity.

There are three separate applications, with the main extension proposal also requiring listed building consent. A third relates to a terrace and landscaping which has already been built without permission.

A recommendation has yet to be published by South Ayrshire Council’s planning department.
The proposals have stirred up a significant number of objections, mainly centred around the impact on the historic building and its setting at the historic Brig.

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However, there have also been a number of supporting statements submitted to the council welcoming the additional business opportunities and accommodation for visitors.

Objector Adrienne Healy described it as a ‘ludicrous proposal for an out of place extension that will ruin the aesthetics of Alloway’.

She added: “The Brig and all that the area is famous for – nothing is worth ruining this.”

However, Anne Hope backed the plan. She said: “I think they [the plans] have been carefully thought through, in order that the design of the extension is as sympathetic as possible.

“I feel that granting consent would allow a well run business to make the most of this hotel and enhance it, making it an even greater asset to Ayrshire, providing high quality jobs and bringing visitors to the area.”

It is clear that the majority of representations do come from objections.

Ms L Pilkington also highlighted the heritage of the area.

She said: “Developing the hotel with such a large extension would have a negative impact on the setting that tourists come to see. It is important to protect this area."

Supporter Graham Steven countered: “Having reviewed the plans and drawings for this extension, as a local resident, I 100 per cent support and applaud this project.

“The RAD Group make a success of their projects and I am sure this initiative will be no different.”

Another objector, Christine Hoult, raised the environmental impact, saying: “This development, if allowed to proceed, will I believe result in a detrimental impact both on the following wildlife along the banks of the River Doon and the view on approach to the brig, particularly from the Maybole/Longville Avenue roads.”

Kyle and Carrick Civic Society also objected, saying: “One of the main objections is that the iconic view of the Auld Brig and the River Doon is being ruined.

“This is a view seen by thousands of tourists every year and is likely to result in fewer numbers with the effect on the local economy.”

The group also raised the issue of a separate retrospective application for a raised terrace and landscaping which has already been carried out.

The hotel says it was unaware of the need for planning permission.

But the society said: “We are extremely concerned that work has started while planning permission does not appear to have been granted.”

There were also a number of neutral representations, including Alloway, Doonfoot and St. Leonard’s Community Council, which was split between objectors and supporters of the plan.

Objections have also been made by statutory consultees at SEPA and Ayrshire Roads Alliance (ARA).

ARA suggested that the parking pressure in the area was a concern, with no additional parking on site to account for the increase in rooms.

They wrote: “We are of the view that the proposed increase in bedrooms and restaurant floor area are likely to generate additional trips.”

Further concerns have also been raised around coach drop off and pick up points and the impact on the neighbourhood.

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However, while maintaining an objection, they said they would review their position if further information was provided.

ARA also said they would recommend refusal for the extension on flooding grounds.

SEPA have also objected on flooding risks, saying that the gap between the underside of the extension, which is on stilts, and the ‘design flood level’ is increased.

A subsequent document on the issue was not enough to satisfy SEPA, who indicated they would continue to object.

The Regulatory Panel will consider the three applications on Thursday, November 16.