Bosses at an historic Perthshire hotel have pleaded with planning chiefs to help save wedding plans for dozens of couples.
Covid restrictions and physical distancing rules means that the Dunkeld House Hotel needs to expand its facilities to accommodate all of its pre-booked parties in 2021.
Owners have lodged proposals to install a temporary marquee in the grounds of the 98-bedroom establishment.
They say without the outdoor area, around 70 weddings – as well as local jobs – could be thrown into jeopardy.
Managing director Joe McMahon explained that the Garden Room, a function room next to the hotel restaurant, was traditionally used for wedding ceremonies and conferences.
“Due to Covid-19, the profile of guests in the hotel has changed significantly and the need to be able to cater for all these guests safely, in terms of social distancing, has become paramount,” he said.
Mr McMahon told Perth and Kinross Council planners that converting the Garden Room into part of the restaurant was the “only practical way” of creating more space between tables.
“However, by doing this we lose the Garden Room as a wedding ceremony room,” he said.
“With weddings booked in 2021, we have to offer an alternative to our clients in terms of space to hold their wedding ceremonies. The temporarily ideal solution, as far as we can see, is to have a temporary marquee in place on the green.”
He said: “We have 70 weddings booked from March to the end of October 2021. If we are unable to provide the wedding ceremony element then weddings are unlikely to take place at the hotel, which will have an impact on both employment at the hotel and business for local wedding suppliers who are dependent on these functions.”
If approved, the new canopy would be installed next to an existing outdoor marquee and could stand for five years.
Dunkeld House, which was built by the Dukes of Atholl, dates back to the late 19th Century and has been run as a hotel since World War Two.
Perth and Kinross Council planning officers are considering plans for the marquee and expected to deliver their verdict in the new year.
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