Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Can Bute support a 163 room carbuncle hotel?

With so many hotel buildings rotting in the centre of Rothesay, and owners unable to get cash to help repair and preserve the existing infrastructure, I’m tempted to use emotive words such as ‘obscene’ to describe a recent story I spotted which tells of plans underway to present a planning application for a new 163 bed hotel and complex to occupy the existing site of the Isle of Bute Sailing Club and the remains of the old bathing station in the island’s West Bay area.

I can see how the sailing club would be bought by this idea, gaining a shiny new facility to operate from instead of its present ageing home (probably showing its age and I doubt backed by a huge kitty to see to its maintenance or refurbishment), and I can also see that many of those who existing islanders (Brandanes) might refer to by the derogatory ‘Incomers’ would probably like what they see as an ‘eyesore’ removed. But the old place still has historic interest, and served as the island’s NAAFI during World War II. NAAFI refers to the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes, an organisation created by the British government in 1921 to run recreational establishments needed by the British Armed Forces.

As can be seen from the rendering released by the proposers, the new hotel offers no visible connection to any aspect of the island’s history, and is sadly a poor design that looks like little more than a couple of boxes stuck together, and painted a horrible colour.

It’s at times like this I realise that many of the complaints levelled again Glasgow City Council’s planning department are baseless, and made by people who merely hate the council, and have no rational basis for their hate.

I could probably moan and drone on about my dislike for this proposal, but that would be pointless.

Suffice to say I’ll be keeping an eye open for any later stories, to see if this is a genuine effort, or if some sort of conspiracy where someone benefits is uncovered or revealed further down the road.

Via New hotel planned for Rothesay

Anyone who wants to submit comments can email or write to Elevate Planning, 10 Main Street, Castledawson, Northern Ireland, BT45 8AB.

After concluding the consultation on September 29, the company behind this intends to submit a planning application to Argyll and Bute Council.

Proposed Bute Hotel

Proposed Bute Hotel

The  outdoor bathing station was built in 1933, when such things were popular, but only lasted until 1938, when a new enclosed bathing pool was opened on the other side of the bay, and closer to Rothesay.

It seems to have been bought around 1994 by someone who said they planned to open a hotel on the site, and develop flats and other facilities, but nothing ever happened as the buyer apparently suffered a number of mishaps (reported in the local press at the time, if I remember correctly). The main thing I noticed was the appearance of security fencing around the site, a caravan, and no ‘Welcome’ signs placed for anyone who might have wanted to look at the old place.

Then, in January 2016, the media carried stories of those plans being abandoned, and the site of the old bathing station being put up for sale.

I really should get around to the job of digitising my archive, but it’s kind of… biggish.

This was the only pic I could lay hands on quickly, of the old bathing station – in snow!

You can see the fragmenting shore structure which used be a series of steps leading into the sea pool.

The structure to left covers a vestibule which contained a stairway giving access to other levels such as the café.

Hidden by the snow on the ground (actually the roof of the café) are formerly glazed panels (now filled in and blocked) which were skylights for the café below.

This pic actually post-dates the 1994 sale of the station – as may be seen by the classy ‘PRIVATE’ sign sprayed on the structure.

Isle Of Bute Bathing Station

Isle Of Bute Bathing Station


22/09/2017 - Posted by | Civilian | , , , ,

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