Approval for a new hotel in Moray’s biggest town has been welcomed by tourism bosses.
Travelodge has been granted permission to build a 61-bedroom complex on the Barmuckity Business Park on Elgin’s eastern boundary.
Hotel rooms have come under increasing pressure in the region in recent years – with visitors to the opening of the new Macallan distillery last month even being bussed in from further afield due to the shortage of rooms.
Last night, Laurie Piper, operations manager at Moray Speyside Tourism, hailed the approval of the hotel as a “vote of confidence” in the region.
He said: “I’m really pleased that the council has given this project the green light.
“The arrival of a new hotel operator in the region is great news. It adds capacity to the region’s overall accommodation offer and gives visitors to the area a wider choice of options.
“It’s yet another vote of confidence in the region’s tourism industry.”
Moray Council’s planning committee unanimously approved plans for the hotel at its meeting yesterday.
The three-storey building, which will be built next to a new roundabout on the A96, will also include a bar and restaurant on the site.
However, concerns were raised about the lack of disabled car parking spaces that were proposed.
Heldon and Laich councillor John Cowe described it as “stupid” to have just three spaces for the accommodation that will have six larger “accessible” rooms.
He added: “This will be a welcome addition to the on-going economic development projects in Moray, more hotel space is an important requirement.
“You only need to look at the need to bus guests in from Newmachar and Aviemore to Macallan’s launch to see the shortage.”
Committee members unanimously agreed a condition for the plans to ensure there was at least five disabled car park spaces.
Chairman David Bremner said: “This shows that Moray is both in demand and well and truly open for business. Private developers are serious about investing in the area and I applaud their commitment.”