An Aberdeenshire hotel that closed its doors last year could be brought back into use – and into the 21st century.
The Forbes Arms Hotel, which lies on the north side of the River Don at the Bridge of Alford, shut down at the start of 2018.
The hotel and pub, which dates back to the first half of the 19th century, once proved a popular destination for local residents in the area, as well as passing motorists on the A944 Aberdeen to Alford road stopping in for a bite to eat on the way to Strathdon and beyond.
Developers Morrison Campbell Estates Ltd now want to modernise the C-listed property, and have submitted a planning application to Aberdeenshire Council to redevelop the entire site.
The team want to redevelop the ground floor dining area by removing the south-facing conservatory and entrance and replacing it with a new reception and a larger, open-plan restaurant finished with granite.
However, the developers are keen to retain some of the key parts of the property – the existing lounge and bar areas on the west side of the site will be kept mostly the same, with some additional decoration and furnishings.
A statement by Graham Mitchell Architects said the plans are of a “sensitive and appropriate nature”.
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It said: “An ideally located riverside restaurant and bar that was popular with locals and visitors, and a favourite spot for fishermen, the property is no longer trading and is currently closed for business.
“Through this application for a considered and sensitive redevelopment of the Forbes Arms, it is proposed to bring this popular hostelry back into use.
“Not just seeking to provide a cosmetic surface overhaul of the existing hotel, the intention is to modernise the very fabric of the buildings.”
Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford councillor Robbie Withey said he spent many happy Saturday afternoons playing pool with his son in the pub before it shut its doors last year.
He said: “This hotel and pub is sorely missed by the local community.
“It’s a terrific, traditional pub and one I was happy to call my local.
“I’m sure there will be a queue of people lining up if it gets the go ahead.”