One of Bearsden’s most
magnificent buildings, Boclair House, is still expected to be developed into a boutique
hotel next year.
The iconic red sandstone Tudor Gothic mansion, which is Category B listed, has been a local landmark and aesthetic treasure since it was built by the Buchanan sisters of Bellfield in 1890.
It was used as council offices by East Dunbartonshire Council until 2011 and put up for sale in 2012 - however, the council still owns the building while WPH awaits planning permission to turn the building into a hotel.
David Mawhinney, development manager of WPH Developments/Westpoint Homes, which also plans to build houses on the rear of the site, said: “We are just about to submit our planning application which has taken us several months to prepare.
“We anticipate to be on site by May next year and hope to have completed the project within 12 to 18 months.
“We are very excited about this project - we have a record of delivering luxury bespoke housing and we’ve won the best developer in Scotland award in The Herald Property Awards for the last two years running.
“We believe that this boutique hotel will sustain such an iconic building as Boclair House for generations to come and also protect the environment surrounding it.
“Boclair House has been there for such a long time and is well-loved within the area so we wanted to do something special with it.
“This development will offer something to the public of Bearsden that isn’t currently available to them.”
Thomas Glen, director of development and regeneration at East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “We are anticipating the submission of a planning application from the developer this month. Thereafter there is a period for the assessment of the application to allow the deal to be concluded.”
Originally called the Buchanan Retreat, the house was built from legacies left by three sisters, the Misses Buchanan of Bellfield in Ayrshire, who wished to provide for poorer members of the Buchanan clan in their declining years
This restricted admissions and the rules were later relaxed and it became a home for elderly men until Bearsden Burgh Council acquired the property in 1962 and it was re-named Boclair House and opened as Municipal Buildings by Princess Margaret and her husband Lord Snowdon in 1962.
It was used as council offices by East Dunbartonshire Council until 2011 and put up for sale in 2012.
The two-storey property at the bottom of Boclair hill is 12,690 sq ft and it sits in 3.3 acres of ground with landscaped gardens at the front and mature trees which are covered with thick drifts of white and pink cherry blossom in the summer.
It’s already a popular spot for wedding photographs and the new owners say it will provide a fantastic wedding venue.
It has a castellated tower, and square sided towers but its most distinguishing feature is a series of arches to the front, creating a covered walk reminiscent of Italian cloisters.
It’s close to Hillfoot and Bearsden train stations as well as other local amenities including numerous shops and cafes.