Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Businessman loses appeal to keep blue colour scheme at former sheriff court building

Before and after the paint job
Before and after the paint job

An American businessman has lost his appeal to the Scottish Government to keep the blue painted doors and window frames of a former sheriff court building in Sutherland.

Todd Warnock transformed the 165-year-old building in Dornoch into an upmarket tourist attraction, The Carnegie Courthouse, which opened last summer.

The B-listed building, which had lain empty for years, now contains a tearoom, deli, whisky shop and spa, as well as a new tourist information centre and a town service point which the community raised £20,000 to keep.

Holyrood plea as officials seered over building’s blue paint

The formerly white window frames and sills, brown doors and disabled ramp handrails were painted a shade of blue – called Pantone 2746C – in time for the opening.

But a retrospective planning application for listed building consent to repaint these external features was refused by Highland Council planners in May, on the grounds it is “aesthetically inappropriate” and has a “disruptive impact” on neighbouring buildings.

The applicant argued the new colour identified a “new, positive use” for the building which provided local social and economic benefits in Dornoch.

However, Scottish Government reporter Elspeth Cook states in her refusal letter, issued this week, that the colour change has “had a significant effect” on the building’s “appearance and its architectural integrity.”

She added: “It disregards the original architectural approach, introduces an inappropriate modern colour and undermines the previous efforts made to minimise the effects of adapting the building to meet modern requirements.

“I find this shade of blue with its purple tone, designed for use in marketing materials, historically inappropriate on a stone building of this age and character.”

In response to one of Mr Warnock’s arguments that dark blue has been used on other doors and windows in the conservation area, Ms Cook said: “These examples are generally representative of the use of colour on small areas of architectural detailing.”

She also considered advice set out in Historic Environment Scotland’s Managing Change document on windows, which says light coloured windows on historic buildings are “prevalent” but “reinstatement of earlier colour schemes is encouraged if evidence exists.”

East Sutherland and Edderton councillir Jim McGillivray said: “It’s a shame because I was just getting used to the colour, but what I think is a warm and welcoming colour is maybe not what fits under the rules.”

Mr Warnock’s options include repainting in line with the previous colour scheme or appealing the decision through the court of session.

He was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Already a subscriber? Sign in