ABERDEENSHIRE Council today announced that a special hearing is to be held into controversial plans to build a new hotel in the village of Auchenblae to replace a popular pub blown apart in a gas explosion more than four years ago.
The residents of Auchenblae have been without a pub or hotel sine January 2009, when the the Drumtochty Arms Hotel in the centre of the village had to be completely demolished after being seriously damaged in a gas blast in which three people were injured.
Charles Anderson, the owner of the hotel, has submitted plans to rebuild the hotel, together with a café and shop, on a site west of Granom, on the outskirts of the village. But the application has attracted more than 170 letters of representation.
The local planning authority, the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee, is now planning to hold a special hearing on the application for the new hotel in the village next Tuesday.
A council spokeswoman said: “The Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee has decided to convene a meeting to hear the views of residents regarding the application at Auchenblae Village Hall at 7pm on 10 September. Councillors will go on a site visit at 6.15pm before the meeting.”
She continued: “The meeting has been convened due to the large number (175) of representations received in connection to the application. A decision on the planning application will not be made at the meeting, which is an opportunity for councillors to hear from some of those who wish to have their views on the plans heard.
“The meeting is open to the public but only those who have submitted a valid letter of representation and request to address the Area Committee will be eligible to speak at the meeting.”
The spokeswoman added: “The application will then go before a future meeting of the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee for determination.”