BUCHAN councillors have agreed to give planning consent to the creation of a five-star hotel and spa complex at Crimonmogate, Lonmay.
Argyll Trust Ltd had seeked approval for the redevelopment of a redundant piggery, laundry, creamery and steading to form a gym, spa, hotel accommodation, suite and treatment rooms as well as a restaurant.
The estate includes a category A listed mansion house, which is currently used as a wedding venue and other associated buildings. A number of these are in a state of disrepair and no longer used.
In a report discussed at the Buchan Area Committee meeting on Tuesday, director of infrastructure services, Stephen Archer, said a range of supporting information had been submitted with the proposal.
This included a historical report and historic statement which gives detailed background to the site, design, and details of the existing buildings.
The existing use of the A Listed Building as a wedding venue can accommodate up to 300 guests by the use of a large yurt in the grounds and within the main house itself.
Mr Archer said: “The information submitted with the proposal advises that the intention is to develop Crimonmogate into a new 5 star hotel complex, mostly within the existing estate buildings.
“At present it is anticipated the hotel will comprise 22 suites, restaurant, health spa and leisure facilities. Support facilities to the hotel are also proposed to be incorporated within the existing buildings to provide a self contained development separate from the main house.”
He continued by saying: “The proposals will see the creation of unique facilities and the use of the listed buildings for some time to come.
“These new facilities would only be positive for the area.”
The committee were shown pictures of the buildings in question and the detailed designs which feature on them.
Councillor Anne Allan commented on the plans by saying: “There is a lack of facilities and this would certainly be a major boost for tourism in the area.
“The fact these plans have been put forward on such an ancient estate can surely only help the industry.
“The use of these buildings is good as they are superb looking. To see them resurrected in this way would be great.”
All of Cllr Allan’s fellow committee members felt the same towards the idea and the plans were agreed.
Speaking after the meeting, Viscount William Petersham said: “We are thrilled the plans have been granted. This is a starting point for us to essentially build a hotel and spa which is great.
“There is no starting time for work at the moment, that will depend on the council. But, plans are in place and we wouldn’t have taken them this far if we thought it couldn’t work. It will be an attachment for the weddings we have here.”