Three leading hoteliers are fighting plans for new social housing in Highland Perthshire, claiming the development could hit the local tourist trade.
Caledonia Housing Association wants to build 12 “affordable” flats on land off Atholl Road, Pitlochry.
The three-storey block is earmarked for a one-acre site which has lain empty for about 20 years.
But the plans have come under fire from three of the area’s biggest hotel operators.
They have criticised the “cheap” design of the building and argued that it will impact on their businesses.
Agents for Scotland’s Hotel have urged Perth and Kinross Council planners to reject the proposal, claiming that the top level of the block would “overlook” its swimming pool.
“Our client is in favour of development but this proposal could be seriously injurious to the operation of a successful hotel,” a spokesman for representatives Construct Architects said.
“The hotel owners are intending to operate the Scotland’s Hotel as a four-star upmarket boutique modern hotel. This will be impossible if there is a large scale development adjacent to the hotel, as this would turn the garden and car park into an overshadowed tunnel.”
He added: “Pitlochry is advertised around the world as a ‘chocolate box’ village and this development is not keeping with a village setting which is so essential to tourism.”
In a strongly worded letter to council planners, Fisher’s Hotel boss Brian Wishart said: “What I find most surprising is that the look and feel of what is a beautiful town will be ruined by a new build.
“Surely Pitlochry is surrounded by vast amounts of agricultural land that could be re-used if it was deemed that Pitlochry requires additional housing.”
Graeme Strachan of the Atholl Palace Hotel said the proposed bloc had been “squeezed into a tight site with inadequate parking”.
He told planners: “The materials used are bland and the look of the apartments is cheap with little or no regard to the heritage of Pitlochry.”
The earmarked site was cleared in the late 1990s to make way for a planned expansion of Scotland’s Hotel which never happened.
Two years ago, separate designs for flats at the site were approved for holiday firm Monument Leisure.
Andrew Kilpatrick, Asset Director for Caledonia Housing Association, said: “We currently have planning permission granted for this development however we have had to adjust the building specification slightly to make the development viable as an affordable housing project, which is why the planning application has been resubmitted.
“The area has been identified as an area in need of new affordable housing supply; with this development Caledonia hope to help by creating more high quality affordable homes.”