A run-down block in Inverness is to converted into 29 self-catering holiday apartments.
Highland Council has granted applicants, Glen Mhor Hotel, permission to carry out the conversion and add an extra storey to the building at 14A Church Street.
The building’s façade will be retained, with the new top floor highly glazed to give views out across the city.
The applicants say the hotel ‘seeks to enhance the growing requirement for city centre accommodation, encourage tourism and enhance provision for city centre retail.’
Highland Council planners say the conversion of an existing office building to provide self-catering tourist accommodation apartments is an appropriate city centre land use.
Consultee Historic Environment Scotland said it noted that with the exception of the new upper storey, there was ‘little improvement proposed to the façade of what is a far from outstanding example of later 20th century architecture’ and that the proposal would ‘benefit from a more creative approach to its principal elevations.’
Planners also said the addition of an ‘elegant and contemporary’ floor for eight apartments would be incongruous without improvements to an otherwise tired and dated building, and worked with the developer to improve the building’s façade, with the result that the back of the building will be repainted and the concrete panels on the Church Street frontage will be rendered in colours to be agreed with the council.
After agreeing the provision of cycle parking spaces, refuse storage and noise limitations, planners used delegated powers to approve the application.