Fears Inverness Titanic cafe could be sunk by planners

AN Inverness man who built a model replica of the Titanic in his back garden fears for its future after it was refused planning permission.

It took Stan Fraser 12 years to construct his 100 ft model of the liner which includes a recreation of one of its third class cabins and a coffee area on the vessel’s Parisienne and Veranda cafes.

The shop opened to the public this week however permission for the venture has not been granted by planning officials.

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Stan says he is hopeful that an agreement can be reached due to the model not being a commercial venture with proceeds going to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The real Titanic sank after striking an iceberg in April 1912, with the loss of 1,503 lives.

The first visitors also heard a foghorn and saw lights twinkling from the portholes, as they did on the dance floors prior to the Titanic striking an iceberg and sinking.

There are also inter-active items for children to enjoy alongside a play area.

“I started to build a dummy Titanic for fun but it needed to be bigger, said Stan.

“I had two caravans in the garden and I used these as the base.

“Someone gave me an old shed to use and a friend who was building a house gave me some wood and nails to recycle and that got me started. A lot of the material I use I have re-cycled.

“I make no claims to having genuine Titanic memorabilia. But there is loads of information about it and people can come and have a look round, then have a cup of coffee in comfort. I do not charge for anything.

“This is my tribute to a great ship and those who died on her in my own home. It is not a commercial operation and I am hoping it will be allowed to stay open because donations will go to a good cause.

“I applied for planning permission but unfortunately it wasn’t granted and I am preparing myself for a visit from the authorities. But I have tried to comply with what they wanted as far as I can.

“That includes car parking which the planners wouldn’t allow at my property. So I direct visitors to an area which is appropriately two Titanic lengths away.”