Councillors have approved a major redevelopment of Letham Hotel despite an objection over the loss of the historic building’s function suite.
The development standards committee approved the demolition of the function suite, internal alterations to the pub and an extension to the building to create two flats.
Letham and District Community Council objected to the application as it is concerned that the loss of the function suite facility would be disadvantageous to the community.
Brechin councillor Bob Myles said it was “very sad” to see the facility being converted into a residential property.
“Sadly this is going to become more and more common with the excessive rates hike which will impact on businesses,” he said.
“We could be seeing more and more of this coming but I can’t go against this recommendation, although I am sad to see it go.”
The applicant can no longer afford to run the function suite due to it not being financially viable and it has been closed since early last year.
The committee was told the ground floor contains a public house, family lounge, function suite, pool room, kitchen, toilets and storage areas.
The first floor consists of the owner’s accommodation, five hotel bedrooms and an office while the second floor comprises the remainder of the owner’s accommodation.
The proposal provides for the demolition of an area in the region of 240sqm which includes the function suite building, kitchen, pool room and storage areas.
The building would be divided vertically through the introduction of a new partition wall with the east portion of the building accommodating the public bar and hotel uses, and the proposed flats accommodated in the west portion of the building.
Head of planning Vivien Smith said: “The concerns raised by the community council are noted but the substantive element of the business is retained. Letham benefits from other facilities and services such as shops, a village hall, a primary school, a public house, and a bowling club as well as the hotel and public house that would remain following this development.
“This range of facilities is reasonably broad and helps maintain the wellbeing of the local community.
“It is understood that the village hall is available for functions and is well located to serve the community.
“In these circumstances it is considered that there are equivalent alternative facilities and that loss of the function suite would not have a significant adverse impact on the wellbeing of the community.
“It is relevant to note that the function suite is close to the boundaries of residential properties in the area and its lawful operation could have some adverse impact on the amenity of occupants of those properties.
“The demolition of the building and the cessation of that use may provide some improvement to the amenity of those occupants.
“Third parties have raised concern regarding the applicant’s legal entitlement to take access to the parking spaces proposed for the flats.”
The application was approved subject to conditions including a detailed scheme for the sound insulation of the proposed flats.