Proposals to convert the former Mariner Hotel in Aberdeen into housing have moved forward, but fears have been raised its neighbours will “suffer”.
The city council’s planning development management committee granted permission in principle for the 12-property development off Great Western Road yesterday.
It was lodged after its owners closed the hotel’s doors for good in September due to difficulties arising from the pandemic.
They now hope to turn the existing building into a mix of one and two-bedroom flats.
A secondary building could be converted into a three-bedroom house, with two semi-detached homes constructed on the existing car park – leaving enough room for 17 parking spaces.
Council officers recommended planning permission in principle be approved, and the motion was passed by seven votes to two yesterday.
The developers will now have to provide more detailed plans addressing a number of conditions, before construction can begin.
But councillor Martin Greig, who said the application should be refused, said the alterations could “make the problem worse”.
“Converting the Mariner Hotel into a residential property is not a problem,” he said.
“However, the site should be developed sensitively so that it fits in well with its surroundings.
“After all, the community are going to have to live with these changes for a long time into the future.
“This is a densely-built residential environment with a long and worrying history of parking pressures.
“The application has not provided enough spaces in the design of its new car park. There are only 17 spaces and the report confirms this should be 22.
“The lack of sufficient parking is going to add to the parking problems in this neighbourhood.
“Existing residents will suffer as a result.”
Nine objections to the plans were submitted by members of the public before they were considered by the committee.
These raised concerns the design would not be in-keeping with the wider conservation area, and that it would disrupt an informal agreement where parents have been using the Mariner Hotel’s grounds to drop off children at a nearby nursery.
Vice-chairwoman Jennifer Stewart also voted against the plans, fearing they will lead to further congestion as flat residents turn to the street to park their cars.
She said: “I have had personal experience of having to reverse all the way along Gray Street as there are cars parked either side.
“There is no room so you get into a stand-off with cars in the other direction.
“They said in the meeting everyone should be moving towards more sustainable ways of moving around the city.
“But it’s very naive to think we’re all suddenly going to be able to go without a car.”