Ambitious plans to transform one of Perth’s most high-profile “eyesore” buildings have been abandoned.
Businesswoman and philanthropist Ann Gloag’s proposal to demolish the derelict C-listed Waverley Hotel to build a multi-use church hall and flats to link social activities at the adjacent Trinity Church of the Nazarene has now fallen by the wayside, with a for sale sign placed at the York Place/Caledonian Road site in the last few days.
Ms Gloag and her brother Sir Brian Souter, chairman of the Stagecoach Group, are both members of the Perth church.
A spokeswoman for Media House, speaking on behalf of Ms Gloag, confirmed that the Waverley Hotel is now for sale but remained tight-lipped about the reasons behind the move.
She said: “We can confirm that the front part of the hotel, which is a listed building, has been put up for sale.”
And a spokesman for Montagu Evans, who are selling the hotel, also confirmed that the building, which was once famous for its high teas, is now on the market.
“The building is for sale. The marketing details should be finalised this week,” he said.
In November, The Courier revealed that the plans to demolish the Waverley Hotel had been dropped. The proposals had included proposals to build three villas and eight flats.
Comrie-based architects the Denholm Partnership had submitted a letter to the local authority confirming the proposals had been withdrawn.
They had prepared a report highlighting the case for demolition of the hotel, which is now regarded as an eyesore by many people.
The proposal had stated that the Trinity Church of Nazarene were keen “to expand” the current work with teenagers but did not have adequate space for this.
“Proposals were prepared which will provide an improvement of the layout of the church to provide additional floor space for multi-use/discussion/social areas,” the report had stated.
It stressed that in order to provide this, there would need to be some “reconfiguration” to the existing layout of the church along with a new building to the north and west of the church.
The new building was to house a new lobby, sports hall and gym to the west.
The report added: “The setting of the church and the prominence of the public library (AK Bell Library) is let down by the derelict appearance and state of the Waverley Hotel and public space to the front of the buildings.
“If these buildings were to be demolished, we have an opportunity to create a striking new building which respects the importance of this major access point in Perth, whilst also enhancing the character of the area.
“We believe that the buildings are not of great architectural merit and are now suffering due to their poor structural condition, configuration and no viable use resulting in the buildings being regarded by many Perth residents and visitors as an eyesore.”
A spokesman for Historic Scotland said they would not comment on the Waverley Hotel being up for sale.
They previously wrote to Perth and Kinross Council to express their concerns about the hotel possibly being demolished.
Councillor Peter Barrett, one of the Perth city centre representatives, said: “After all the time that the Waverley has lain empty and becoming more dilapidated it is very disappointing to see it put up for sale with nothing done to improve they way it looks.
“The boarded up frontage is an ugly eyesore and the gardens have been allowed to deteriorate.”
The Waverley Hotel became a homeless hostel prior to closing its doors in 2011 and has been boarded up ever since.
It once had 22 bedrooms, a ladies’ drawing room, a smoking room and a spacious dining room.