One of Perthshire’s best-known family restaurants looks set to be razed to the ground to make way for around 60 retirement homes, The Courier can reveal.
A proposal of application has been lodged with Perth and Kinross Council by Juniper Residential Ltd which, if given the green light, would see the development take place at the site of the Wheel Inn in Scone.
Members of Scone and District Community Council have said they will be lodging an official objection to the proposal based on a “loss of amenity.”
The restaurant hit the headlines recently when staff walked out in protest at the appointment of controversial new manager, Stuart Shearer, after he closed the Lovat Hotel.
Hazel McKinnon, secretary of Scone and District Community Council, said there is “quite a lot of concern” over the proposals, stating it will be a “big loss.”
“Apart from the fact that it has been a restaurant and pub for so many years , the Wheel Inn has allowed residents to use their car park in past years and is the only designated public toilet in Scone,” she said.
“The site is a brownfield site but the community council will be objecting on the basis of a loss of amenity.”
Fraser Lynes, land and development director of Juniper Residential Ltd, the retirement housing arm of the Cruden Group, said: “Juniper Residential is pleased to have the opportunity to submit a planning application for a new residential retirement development in a region where we are looking to grow.
“At this stage, I can confirm our plans would have to involve the removal of the Wheel Inn to make way for around 50 to 60 much needed retirement homes in what is the ideal location.
“We want to ensure, through our forthcoming consultation process, that the views of the local community help shape our proposals to provide a development that suitably complements the outstanding village of Scone and, as with any of our developments, should we receive planning consent, we look forward to working with the local community as we move forward with these proposals.”
The family restaurant and pub is well-known in Perthshire and has been making headlines recently due to the recent controversial appointment of former Lovat Hotel boss Stuart Shearer as its manager in April.
Four employees, including the head chef, downed tools following Mr Shearer’s arrival. The staff walked out and took up posts at the new Broxden Farm pub run by Greene King on Perth’s western edge.
Mr Shearer’s company SLE Enterprises collapsed owing thousands of pounds to disgruntled wedding couples and guests at the Lovat Hotel in Perth. However, Caledonian Heritable, an Edinburgh-based company that runs around 300 pubs across the country, arranged for Mr Shearer to take over the running of the Wheel Inn.
However, it now appears that his tenure at the Scone restaurant/pub may be short-lived if the plan for retirement and affordable homes comes to fruition. The proposal of application notice states that there will be a pre-consultation public event to discuss the proposed development on July 11.
This will be held at the Robert Douglas Memorial Institute in Scone, from 2pm until 7pm.
The proposal of application notice states: “A pre-application consultation will take place on July 11. Requests have been issued to meet with Scone and District Community Council and local councillors to explain and discuss the proposals in advance of the public event.
“The proposed development will see the erection of a residential development consisting of retirement living and affordable apartments on the site of the Wheel Inn, Scone.”